- #1. The Last World Series To Feature Two Teams That Had Not Won A Championship Until 1980.
- #2. The Cleveland Indians Dedicated Their Season To Ray Chapman.
- #3. The Cleveland Indians Won The Pennant Due To The Suspension Of The Chicago White Sox.
- #4. All Seven Games The Teams Won Had A Similar Trait
- #5. Game 5 Witnessed Three Firsts
- #6. Stan Coveleski Dominated The Dodgers
- #7. The Brooklyn Dodgers Lose Again
#1. The Last World Series To Feature Two Teams That Had Not Won A Championship Until 1980.
The 1920 World Series featured the Brooklyn Dodgers (also known as the Robins) and the Cleveland Indians.
The Dodgers had been to the 1916 World Series, where they were beaten by the Boston Red Sox, but they had never won a championship.
This would be the first appearance of the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. They had never been too close to playing in the big one.
With the 1919 Black Sox Scandal and World War 1 behind the country, it was ready to play ball!
#2. The Cleveland Indians Dedicated Their Season To Ray Chapman.
On August 16, 1920, Chapman was struck in the head and killed by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays during a game against the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
At the time, pitchers commonly dirtied balls with soil, licorice, and tobacco juice and scuffed, sandpapered, scarred, cut, or spiked them, giving a "misshapen, earth-colored ball that traveled through the air erratically, tended to soften in the later innings, and, as it came over the plate, was very hard to see."
Mays threw with a submarine delivery, and it was late afternoon. Eyewitnesses recounted that Chapman did not react to the pitch at all, presumably unable to see it.
The sound of the ball striking Chapman's skull was so loud that Mays thought it had hit the end of Chapman's bat; he fielded the ball and threw it to first base.
Home plate umpire Tommy Connolly, noticing that Chapman was bleeding from his left ear, screamed towards the stands for a doctor. Tris Speaker, who had been on deck, rushed to Chapman, as did several players from each team.
Carl Mays merely stood on the mound. Chapman tried to walk, but his knees buckled. As he was helped off the field by his teammates, he mumbled, "I'm all right; tell Mays not to worry... ring....Katie's ring," before falling unconscious.
Chapman was taken to St. Lawrence Hospital, a short distance from the Polo Grounds, where he died at about 4:40 AM from brain damage.
His pregnant wife Katie, summoned from Cleveland by phone, arrived at 10:00 a.m. and fainted on learning he had died.
Cleveland players wore black armbands for the remainder of the season. The Indians won the 1920 World Series and dedicated their victory to Chapman
#3. The Cleveland Indians Won The Pennant Due To The Suspension Of The Chicago White Sox.
Toward the end of the 1920 season, the Cleveland Indians held a slim lead over the Chicago White Sox. However, the pressure was coming in from the media, and news was beginning to break about the cheating that occurred in the 1919 World Series.
On the eve of their final season series, the White Sox were in a virtual tie for first place with the Indians. The Sox would need to win all three of their remaining games and then hope for Cleveland to stumble, as the Indians had more games left to play than the Sox.
Despite the season being on the line, Comiskey suspended the seven White Sox still in the majors (Gandil had not returned to the team in 1920 and was playing semi-pro ball).
He said that he had no choice but to suspend them, even though this action likely cost the Sox any chance of winning that year's American League pennant.
The Sox lost two of the three games in the final series against the St. Louis Browns and finished in second place, two games behind Cleveland.
#4. All Seven Games The Teams Won Had A Similar Trait
All seven games of the 1920 World Series were won by the team that 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.
The Cleveland Indians would finish the World Series by scoring 21 runs to Brooklyn's 8 runs.
#5. Game 5 Witnessed Three Firsts
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 Wambsgans's 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 the 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.
#6. Stan Coveleski Dominated The Dodgers
Stan Coveleski allowed 1 run in his three wins to seal the series of the Cleveland Indians.
He won Games 1, 4, and 7 and posted incredible numbers that rivaled but did not beat, Christy Mathewson's performance in 1905.
The difference was that Mathewson won 3 games in a seven-game series, while Coveleski did it in a nine-game series.
#7. The Brooklyn Dodgers Lose Again
One of the most storied clubs in Baseball is the Dodgers. They played their games at legendary Ebbet's Field and had been to the World Series twice since it began in 1903.
However, both times, they would lose, and unfortunately, the loss would not end until 1955.
After their defeat in Cleveland, there would be two New York teams that would dominate the World Series scene for the next few years, and it would not be the Dodgers.
They would eventually get their championship before the move to Los Angeles.