Girish Mahajan (Editor)

1920 World Series

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Manager  Season
Dates  5 Oct 1920 – 12 Oct 1920
Champion  Cleveland Indians
1920 World Series httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsff
Umpires  Bill Klem (NL), Tommy Connolly (AL), Hank O'Day (NL), Bill Dinneen (AL)
Hall of Famers  Umpires: Bill Klem, Tommy Connolly, Hank O'Day. Indians: Stan Coveleski, Joe Sewell, Tris Speaker. Robins: Wilbert Robinson (mgr.), Rube Marquard, Zack Wheat.
Similar  1916 World Series, 1921 World Series, 1917 World Series, 1954 World Series, 1948 World Series

Kristian pitching in the 1920 world series

In the 1920 World Series, the Cleveland Indians beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, then known interchangeably as the Robins in reference to their manager Wilbert Robinson, in seven games, five games to two. This series was a best-of-nine series, like the first World Series in 1903 and the World Series of 1919 and 1921. The only World Series triple play, the first World Series grand slam and the first World Series home run by a pitcher all occurred in Game 5 of this Series. The Indians won the series in memory of their former shortstop Ray Chapman, who had been killed earlier in the season when struck in the head by a pitched ball.


1920 World Series Cleveland Indians win Game 5 of the 1920 World Series at League Park

The triple play was unassisted and turned by Cleveland's Bill Wambsganss in Game 5. Wambsganss, playing second base, caught a line drive off the bat of Clarence Mitchell, stepped on second base to put out Pete Kilduff, and tagged Otto Miller coming from first base. It was the second of fifteen (as of 2009) unassisted triple plays in major-league baseball history, and it remains the only one in postseason play. Mitchell made history again in the eighth inning by hitting into a double play, accounting for five outs in two straight at-bats.

1920 World Series 1920 World Series

The fifth game also saw the first grand slam in World Series history (hit by Cleveland's Elmer Smith) and the first Series home run by a pitcher (Cleveland's Jim Bagby, Sr.). And in that same game, Brooklyn outhit Cleveland but lost 8–1.

1920 World Series 1920 World Series Brooklyn Dodgers vs Cleveland Indians Flickr

Cleveland had won the American League pennant in a close race with the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. The Sox's participation in the Black Sox Scandal the previous year had caught up to them late in the season, and their star players were suspended with three games left in the season, when they were in a virtual tie with the Indians. The Yankees, with their recently acquired star Babe Ruth, were almost ready to start their eventual World Series dynasty. For Cleveland, it would prove to be one of their few successes in a long history of largely either poor or not-quite-good enough clubs.

1920 World Series 1920 World Series Wikipedia

It is notable that all seven games of the 1920 World Series were won by the team who scored first. In fact, Game 4 was the only game in which the losing team scored a run before the winning team had scored all of its runs. The lead never changed hands in any game.

1920 World Series Lot Detail 1920 World Series Tris Speaker Winning Run quotThe

This would be the last World Series until 1980 to feature two franchises that had not previously won a championship.


AL Cleveland Indians (5) vs. NL Brooklyn Robins (2)

Game 1

Game 1 took a mere 1 hour, 41 minutes. Steve O'Neill supplied RBI doubles in the second and fourth innings in support of Stan Coveleski, who won it for the visiting Indians with a five-hitter.

Game 2

A first-inning run on a Jimmy Johnston single and Zack Wheat double would be all Dodger pitcher Burleigh Grimes would require in a complete-game shutout.

Game 3

Brooklyn scored twice in the first on hits by Zack Wheat and Hi Myers that chased Cleveland starter Ray Caldwell from the game. The only run winning pitcher Sherry Smith gave up in a three-hitter came when Tris Speaker came all the way around on a double that was misplayed in left field.

Game 4

Brooklyn starter Leon Cadore didn't make it past the first inning. His relievers didn't fare much better, Al Mamaux being removed in the third and Rube Marquard greeted by a George Burns two-run double. Stan Coveleski cruised with a five-hitter for his second win of the Series.

Game 5

The Cleveland Times ran the following article on Monday, October 11, 1920, recounting Game 5 and Wambsganss' triple play:

Wamby Makes Unassisted Triple Play

  • CLEVELAND, Sunday Oct 10, 1920 – Bill Wambsganss' unassisted triple play highlighted the most unusual game in World Series history today and helped the Cleveland Indians to a wild 8–1 victory over the Brooklyn Robins. Elmer Smith hit a grand slam and Jim Bagby also homered as the Indians took the lead in games three to two. The triple play and grand slam had never happened before in World Series history and Bagby became the first pitcher to homer in a World Series. "I've been in baseball 40 years", Robins manager Wilbert Robinson said, "and I never saw one like this." The first Indian to face Burleigh Grimes was Charlie Johnson, who singled. He stopped at second on Wambsganss' single. Then Grimes fell fielding Tris Speaker's bunt, loading the bases. Then Smith hit a 1–2 pitch over the right field screen for a 4–0 lead. In the home fourth, Doc Johnston singled to center and moved up on a passed ball. After Grimes put Steve O'Neill on, Bagby homered into the center field stands. Pete Kilduff began the top of the fifth with a single to left center. When Otto Miller singled to center, Speaker's quick throw to third drove Kilduff back to second. That brought up reliever Clarence Mitchell, who went six for sixteen as a pinch-hitter this season and sometimes fills in at first base and in the outfield. A left-handed hitter, he drove the ball toward right center. Second baseman Wambsganss moved slightly to his right, tipped onto his toes, sprung a little bit and grabbed the ball with his gloved hand. Never hesitating, he continued to second base, easily doubling Kilduff. Then when Wamby turned to throw to first base he saw Miller frozen directly in front of him. Reaching out, Wamby tagged Miller easily. The crowd was silent momentarily, then, realizing what had happened, broke into thunderous applause. In the Brooklyn eighth, Ernie Krueger singled to center. But Mitchell grounded to first baseman Johnson, who started a double play. Thus, Mitchell accounted for five outs in two at-bats.
  • Game 6

    Even faster than Game 1, this one was done in just 94 minutes. Duster Mails twirled a three-hit shutout, and the lone run came in the sixth on a Tris Speaker two-out single, followed by a George Burns double.

    Game 7

    The Dodgers didn't score in the last two games. Their pitcher, Burleigh Grimes, committed an error on a Cleveland double steal that resulted in the game's first run. Stan Coveleski needed no more, but got one in the fifth from a Tris Speaker run-scoring triple and another in the seventh on Charlie Jamieson's RBI double. Spitball pitcher Coveleski won for the third time and the Indians celebrated before their home fans.

    Composite line score

    1920 World Series (5–2): Cleveland Indians (A.L.) over Brooklyn Robins (N.L.)


    1920 World Series Wikipedia

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