Friday, December 08, 2006

December 8th, 1894

Bill Wambsganss Born

After much puzzling, false starts and so on, I have concluded that name is pronounced "Wom-gans" with the first syllable rhyming with "rom" as "CD-ROM." Not positive about that though. Wambsganss--that's going to be a pain to type out every time--is remembered for recording an unassisted triple play in the 1920 World Series. Pictured here with his three "victims" Wambsganss remains the only player to record an unassisted triple play in the World Series and one of only twelve to do all-time. (Incidentally, Wambsganss' triple play remains the only triple play in World Series history.)

Wambsganss was actually rather wise insofar as his play was concerned, telling Lawrence "Glory of Their Times" Ritter that "you'd think I was born the day before and died the day after." This is true of a lot of players, of course, including a handful of the perfect game bunch (probably Don Larsen most notably) and the Bucky Dent types. Wambsganss had a decent but truthfully unremarkable thirteen year career, leading the American League in sacrifice hits in 1921 and '22. (With eighty-five combined; the leader the past two years managed just twenty-five.) He also managed to rank among the league leaders in slightly better statistics like doubles (third in 1924) and stolen bases (eighth in 1922). Wambsganss lived to be ninety-one and died in Ohio.

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