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League Park - The 1920 World Series

The 1920 Cleveland Indians

The last game of the 1920 season

NY Times story about League Park dated October 3, 1920

NY Times - Mayor asks for Fan Support for Indians dated Oct. 3, 1920

NY TIMES story about the WS Champs dated October 12, 1920

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 7 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.

This Series is noted for the unassisted triple play 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 thirteen (as of April 2007) unassisted triple plays in major-league baseball history, and it remains the only one in postseason play. 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.

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 3 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.
Records: Cleveland Indians (W: 98, L: 56, Pct: .636, GA: 2) - Brooklyn Dodgers (W: 93, L: 61, Pct: .604, GA: 7)

Managers: Tris Speaker (Cleveland), Wilbert Robinson (Brooklyn)
Umpires: Bill Klem (NL), Tommy Connolly (AL), Hank O'Day (NL), Bill Dinneen (AL)

Source Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Cleveland Times ran the following article on Sunday, October 10, 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 Dodgers. 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 were unprecedented in World Series history and Bagby became the first pitcher to homer in a World Series. "I've been in baseball 40 years," Dodger 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 lefthanded 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 made five outs in two at-bats. * - Source Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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


Team

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Cleveland Indians

6

2

2

6

2

2

1

0

0

21

53

12

Brooklyn Dodgers

3

0

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

8

44

6

Total Attendance: 236,928   Average Attendance: 29,616

Winning Player’s Share: – $5,207   Losing Player’s Share – $3,254

 

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


Game

Score

Date

Location

Attendance

1

Indians - 3, Dodgers - 1

October 5

Ebbets Field

23,759

2

Indians - 0, Dodgers - 3

October 6

Ebbets Field

22,559

3

Indians - 1, Dodgers - 2

October 7

Ebbets Field

25,088

4

Dodgers - 1, Indians - 5

October 9

Dunn Field

25,734

5

Dodgers - 1, Indians - 8

October 10

Dunn Field

26,884

6

Dodgers - 0, Indians - 1

October 11

Dunn Field

27,194

7

Dodgers - 0, Indians - 3

October 12

Dunn Field

27,525

 

Reference: Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 82-86)

1920 World Series Fact

"In order to combat gambling on the games, Tris Speaker did not name his starting pitchers until game time during the 1920 World Series". *

*The New Bill James Historical Abstract, page 141.

 

1920 Cleveland Indians

Roster and Statistics

Player Name Pos G AB R H HR RBI SB OBP SLG OPS AVG
Infielders
George Burns 1B 44 56 7 15 0 13 1 .339 .375 .714 .268
Ray Chapman SS 111 435 97 132 3 49 13 .380 .423 .803 .303
Larry Gardner 3B 154 597 72 185 3 118 3 .367 .414 .781 .310
Doc Johnston 1B 147 535 68 156 2 71 13 .333 .385 .718 .292
Harry Lunte SS 23 71 6 14 0 7 0 .250 .197 .447 .197
Joe Sewell SS 22 70 14 23 0 12 1 .412 .414 .826 .329
Bill Wambsganss 2B 153 565 83 138 1 55 9 .316 .317 .633 .244
Outfielders
Joe Evans OF 56 172 32 60 0 23 6 .404 .506 .910 .349
Jack Graney OF 62 152 31 45 0 13 4 .412 .382 .794 .296
Charlie Jamieson OF 108 370 69 118 1 40 2 .388 .411 .799 .319
Elmer Smith OF 129 456 82 144 12 103 5 .391 .520 .911 .316
Tris Speaker OF 150 552 137 214 8 107 10 .483 .562 1.045 .388
Smoky Joe Wood OF 61 137 25 37 1 30 1 .390 .401 .791 .270
Catchers
Les Nunamaker C 34 54 10 18 0 14 1 .379 .500 .879 .333
Steve O'Neill C 149 489 63 157 3 55 3 .408 .440 .848 .321
Pinch Thomas C 9 9 2 3 0 0 0 .500 .444 .944 .333
Team Totals - - 5203 856 1575 35 757 73 .376 .417 .793 .303


Player Name G GS IP W L Win % SV SO BB ERA WHIP
Pitchers
Jim Bagby 48 38 339.7 31 12 .721 0 73 79 2.89 1.228
Joe Boehling 3 2 13 0 1 .000 0 4 10 4.85 2.000
Ray Caldwell 34 33 237.7 20 10 .667 0 80 63 3.86 1.468
Bob Clark 11 2 42 1 2 .333 0 8 13 3.43 1.714
Stan Coveleski 41 38 315 24 14 .632 2 133 65 2.49 1.108
George Ellison 1 0 1 0 0 .000 0 1 2 .00 2.000
Tony Faeth 13 0 25 0 0 .000 0 14 20 4.32 2.040
Duster Mails 9 8 63.3 7 0 1.000 0 25 18 1.85 1.137
Guy Morton 29 17 137 8 6 .571 1 72 57 4.47 1.438
Tim Murchison 2 0 5 0 0 .000 0 0 4 .00 1.400
Elmer Myers 16 7 71.7 2 4 .333 1 16 23 4.77 1.618
Dick Niehaus 19 3 40 1 2 .333 2 12 16 3.60 1.450
George Uhle 27 6 84.7 4 5 .444 1 27 29 5.21 1.499
Smoky Joe Wood 1 0 2 0 0 .000 0 1 2 22.50 3.000
Team Totals 254 154 1377.1 98 56 .636 7 466 401 3.41 1.343

Batting Leaders

Category
Games Larry Gardner 154
At Bats Larry Gardner 597
Plate Appearances (approx.) Larry Gardner 683
Batting Average Tris Speaker .388
On-Base % Tris Speaker .483
Slugging % Tris Speaker .562
OPS Tris Speaker 1.045
Runs Tris Speaker 137
Hits Tris Speaker 214
Total Bases Tris Speaker 310
Doubles Tris Speaker 50
Triples Larry Gardner, Tris Speaker, and Bill Wambsganss 11
Home Runs Elmer Smith 12
RBI Larry Gardner 118
Walks Tris Speaker 97
Strikeouts Steve O'Neill 39
Stolen Bases Ray Chapman and Doc Johnston 13
Caught Stealing Larry Gardner 20
Sacrifice Hits Ray Chapman 41

Pitching Leaders

Category
Wins Jim Bagby 31
Losses Stan Coveleski 14
Saves Stan Coveleski and Dick Niehaus 2
Won-Loss % Jim Bagby .721
ERA Stan Coveleski 2.49
WHIP Stan Coveleski 1.108
Innings Pitched Jim Bagby 339.7
Games Jim Bagby 48
Games Started Jim Bagby and Stan Coveleski 38
Strikeouts Stan Coveleski 133
Complete Games Jim Bagby 30
Shutouts Jim Bagby and Stan Coveleski 3
Batters Faced Jim Bagby 1364
Earned Runs Allowed Jim Bagby 109
Hits Allowed Jim Bagby 338
Walks Allowed Jim Bagby 79
Home Runs Allowed Jim Bagby and Ray Caldwell 9
Wild Pitches Jim Bagby 6
Hit Batsmen George Uhle 8

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