The series finale of Succession saw the iconic HBO series end in heartbreaking fashion with none of the Roy children winning the keys to their deceased father Logan’s media empire. Instead, Tom Wambsgans, Logan’s son-in-law, was named CEO and won the great game which led to a rather incredible viral theory regarding his name and baseball history. Unfortunately for baseball fans, there’s no truth to the viral theory.
Wambsgans is an unusual name, so a fan on TikTok theorized that there was a significance for it that dates back over a century. Bill Wambsganss became the first player ever to record an unassisted triple play and did so with Cleveland during Game 5 of the 1920 World Series. The fan, Sophie Kihm, is the editor-in-chief of Nameberry, an online catalog of baby names, and she suggested that the character of Tom Wambsgans was named to foreshadow his trumping of the three Roy children for CEO. But Succession executive producer Frank Rich threw cold water on the theory.
“I hate to spoil the internet’s fun, but it’s false,” Rich told Slate in an email. “Tom’s family name was picked before we had shot a first season—let alone mapped out precise story twists that would culminate 39 episodes later! Not to mention that many of the key writers on the show, starting with its creator, Jesse [Armstrong], are British, live in London, and are devoted to British football.”
Rich added that they chose the name because “we were looking for something off-key that would be awkward to say/pronounce, befitting a character who arrives as an outsider in the Roys’ world.” Wambsgans can be traced back to Germany.
It would have been more fun if the internet and sports fans could have lived in ignorance, but alas.