When Tom Wambsgan outsmarted his siblings Roy, calling himself the US CEO who runs Waystar Royco for GoJo at the end of the fantastic finale of the HBO series “Succession,” it likely came as a shock to many viewers at home. But to fans of baseball’s early days, and conspiracy theorists on the Internet, the signs were that Tom was coming out on top, beating out three competitors at the same time.
“It’s me,” Wambsgans told his wife, Shiv Roy.
The clues were there for some, thanks to Bill Wambsgans, a second baseman for Cleveland from 1914 to 1923. Wambsgans didn’t hit much, and there is little indication that he was an excellent sprinter or first-rate fielder. But he had one moment of pure glory, converting the first unassisted triple play in World Series history.
Social media has been ablaze in recent days thanks to the unusual moniker, and the idea that Tom will face three opponents at once, thanks to a viral TikTok made by Sophie Kehm, editor-in-chief of Nameberry, an online catalog of baby names.
Thanks to her video, people are starting to speculate if and how the show’s writers might tip their hands on who will come out on top. The theory has been around in various places for a while – some believe it explained the end of Season 3 – but, as the series began to wind down, the idea of Tom ending up winning, just like the Wambsganss, began to make more sense. .
Whether the connection was intentional or not, it brought to light a player who was forgotten after one outrageously good game.
Wambsganss and Cleveland were playing Brooklyn in the 1920 World Series. In the fifth inning of Game 5, with Cleveland leading 7-0, Brooklyn’s Pete Kilduff and Otto Miller each won. Then Clarence Mitchell hit a liner that looked like it could score a run or more.
In a thriller about the game the next day, published on page A1, The New York Times He narrated what happened As soon as the ball left Miller’s bat. The newspaper reported that Wambsganss, who was playing somewhat off second base, “leaped toward the pad and leaped with the force of a one-handed spear of the ball.”
The article continued: “Wamby’s spaghetti is starting to work faster than ever.” “He jumped to second and touched the bag, retiring Kilduff, who was further up the alley toward third base.”
With two outs already scored on the play, Wambsganss turned his attention to Miller.
The newspaper reported: “Otto was evidently so surprised that he was pinned to the ground, and Wampi danced and touched him to make a third come out.”
The play gave Wambsganss a level of notoriety that trumped anything else in his career, or even his life despite continuing to officiate in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
“The funny thing is, I played in the big leagues for 13 years, from 1914 through 1926, and the only thing anyone seems to remember is that once I did an unassisted triple play in the World Series,” he said in his 1966 Oral History of Baseball , “the glory of their time.” “Many don’t remember what team I was on, what position I played in, or anything. Just the unassisted Wambsganss triple play! You’d think I was born the day before and died the next.”
With the “succession” run completed on TV, we’ll never know if Tom Wambsgans will be able to thrive after completing his own three-play, or if he will be determined by just a single moment, as Wambsganss was.
In Wambsganss’ defense, it’s been over 100 years since the unassisted triple play, and people are still talking about it. You’d have to assume Tom and Lambsgans would be just fine with having the same fate.
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