The Cleveland Indians beat the Brooklyn Dodgers (then known interchangeably as the Robins in reference to their manager Wilbert Robinson) in seven games, five games to two, under a best-of-nine format. Game 5 of the series proved notable because it produced the only World Series triple play, the first World Series grand slam and the first World Series home run by a pitcher. The Indians played the series in memory of their former shortstop Ray Chapman, who had been killed earlier in the season when struck in the head by a pitched ball.
The triple play was unassisted and turned by Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss who 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 fifteen (as of 2009) unassisted triple plays in major-league baseball history, and it remains the only one in postseason play. Mitchell made history again in the eighth inning by hitting into a double play, accounting for five outs in two straight at-bats.
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 three 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.
All seven games of the 1920 World Series was won by the team who 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.
This would be the last World Series until 1980 to feature two franchises that had not previously won a championship
Cleveland Indians, 94-56
Brooklyn Robins, 93-61
Cleveland Indians, Tris Speaker (player/manager)
Brooklyn Robins, Wilbert Robinson
Bill Klem (NL), Tommy Connolly (AL), Hank O'Day (NL), Bill Dinneen (AL)
Hall of Famers:
Indians: Stan Coveleski, Joe Sewell, Tris Speaker. Robins: Wilbert Robinson (mgr.), Rube Marquard, Zack Wheat.
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- Babe Ruth, Bill Wambsganss, Black Sox Scandal, Brooklyn Dodgers, Clarence Mitchell, Cleveland Indians, Ebbets Field, Elmer Smith, New York Yankees, Otto Miller, Pete Kilduff, Ray Chapman, Wilbert Robinson