Wednesday, October 28, 2020

How Wambsganss Made Star Play of Series -- Triple Play, Unassisted -- October 28, 2020


Brooklyn Eagle, 11-October-1920

Well, darn it, the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. This was the Dodgers' first appearance and first win since 1988. I guess this was a fitting conclusion to a bizarre season. 

100 years ago this month, the Cleveland Indians beat the Dodgers, often called the Superbas or the Robins, in the World Series. Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss made the first, and so far the only, unassisted triple play in a World Series game. There have been only 15 unassisted triple plays in the Major Leagues since 1900. 

When Wambsganss was interviewed for Lawrence Ritter's classic book The Glory of Our Times, he complained that the unassisted triple play in the World Series was the only thing most people remembered about him. 

How Wambsganss Made Star Play Of Series -- Triple Play, Unassisted

Here is a diagram of the triple play made by Bill Wambsganss, second baseman of the Cleveland Indians, in the fifth inning of yesterday's game with Brooklyn. It is the first three-ply killing ever made In a World Series and the second in major league history. Kilduff and Miller were on second and first bases with nobody out. when Mitchell drove a hot liner toward right center. The ball shot like a bullet three steps to the right of Wambsganss and about four feet over his head. The Cleveland baseman leaped high in the air and pulled the ball down with his gloved hand. He stumbled as he landed back on his feet, but recovered his balance and ran over and touched second, doubling up Kilduff, who was on his way to third as shown in the picture. Miller was close up to second when Wamby stepped on that base, but was not quick enough in turning back toward first and was run down and tagged. A fuller description of the remarkable play will be found In Thomas S. Rice's column in the Sporting Section.

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