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WAMBSGANSS' WONDER
October 03, 1955
On October 10, 1920 a competent but undistinguished Cleveland second baseman became one of baseball's immortal heroes. William Wambsganss, mercifully called Wamby, executed the only unassisted triple play in all World Series history (295 games to date) and one of seven such plays performed since major league ball began. It was in the fifth game of the 1920 Series. The Brooklyn Dodgers (then called Robins) and the Cleveland Indians were tied with two games each. In the fifth inning when Brooklyn, trailing 7-0, came to bat, Second Baseman Pete Kilduff hit a single to left field off Jim Bagby, and Catcher Otto Miller did the same, putting Robins on first and second. The next batter was Relief Pitcher Clarence Mitchell. Telling the story today, Wamby, now 61 and working for a Cleveland manufacturing firm, says: "Before the game Manager Tris Speaker warned us, 'Play deep for Mitchell, he's a hard hitter, but a slow runner.' So I played 10 feet deeper than usual." Mitchell cracked the first pitch 15 feet to Wamby's right and over his head. But Wamby speared the drive with artful timing. Kilduff was tearing down to third, so Wamby touched second to retire him. Miller, also a slow runner, neared second and was helpless as Wamby ran up to put the ball on him for the third out. The 26,000 spectators had hysterics, but Wamby says he just kept muttering, "Can you imagine that?" Other Series firsts in that same game: Outfielder Elmer Smith hit a grand slammer, Bagby became first pitcher to hit a home run, Mitchell had two ABs for five outs. Cleveland won the series 5-2.
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October 03, 1955

Wambsganss' Wonder

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On October 10, 1920 a competent but undistinguished Cleveland second baseman became one of baseball's immortal heroes. William Wambsganss, mercifully called Wamby, executed the only unassisted triple play in all World Series history (295 games to date) and one of seven such plays performed since major league ball began. It was in the fifth game of the 1920 Series. The Brooklyn Dodgers (then called Robins) and the Cleveland Indians were tied with two games each. In the fifth inning when Brooklyn, trailing 7-0, came to bat, Second Baseman Pete Kilduff hit a single to left field off Jim Bagby, and Catcher Otto Miller did the same, putting Robins on first and second. The next batter was Relief Pitcher Clarence Mitchell. Telling the story today, Wamby, now 61 and working for a Cleveland manufacturing firm, says: "Before the game Manager Tris Speaker warned us, 'Play deep for Mitchell, he's a hard hitter, but a slow runner.' So I played 10 feet deeper than usual." Mitchell cracked the first pitch 15 feet to Wamby's right and over his head. But Wamby speared the drive with artful timing. Kilduff was tearing down to third, so Wamby touched second to retire him. Miller, also a slow runner, neared second and was helpless as Wamby ran up to put the ball on him for the third out. The 26,000 spectators had hysterics, but Wamby says he just kept muttering, "Can you imagine that?" Other Series firsts in that same game: Outfielder Elmer Smith hit a grand slammer, Bagby became first pitcher to hit a home run, Mitchell had two ABs for five outs. Cleveland won the series 5-2.

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