A piece of baseball trivia known primarily in Cleveland sports circles goes like this. In Game 5 of the 1920 World Series, Cleveland turned an unassisted triple play, hit a grand slam, and got a home run from a pitcher against the Brooklyn Robins (today's Dodgers). It was the first time any of those events had ever happened in the World Series, and shortstop Bill Wambsganss's big moment remains the only unassisted triple play in the history of the postseason.
For an extremely unlikely reason, however, the Guardians' century-old secret is out.
It has to do with Succession, the acclaimed HBO show slated to go off the air Sunday after four seasons. In a viral TikTok, Sophie Kihm — the editor-in-chief of Nameberry, an online catalog of baby names — suggested that the character of Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) was named in an allusion to Wambsganss to foreshadow the show's ending.
This theory about Tom in Succession is wild. 👀 pic.twitter.com/xoOXJV90iF— Christina Garnett (@ThatChristinaG) May 25, 2023
"It's no coincidence that Tom shares a surname with Bill Wambsganss," Kihm suggested. "So you have to wonder if Tom will complete an unassisted triple play and take out all three of the Roy siblings to become the leader of Waystar Royco," the Roy family conglomerate on the show.
Wambsganss was a decent player, thought of highly enough to receive votes for the Hall of Fame in six different years spanning 1942-56.
Amazingly, it has taken a century and the advent of a medium that didn't exist during his playing career — television — for him to recapture the notoriety he found that October day in 1920.