Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1974.

The Numbers
Played 1885-1906 (15 Seasons)
1407 Games
5984 At Bats
.331 Batting Average (32nd All-time)
1256 Runs 
1979 Hits
340 Doubles
160 Triples (39th All-time)
127 HRs
1299 RBI 
450 Walks
229 SBs

One .400 Season
Six .300 Seasons
Ten 100+ Run Seasons
Three 200+ Hit Seasons
Four 30+ Double Seasons
Seven 10+ Triple Seasons (Three 20+)
Eight 100+ RBI Seasons (Three 140+)

World Series:  1 Rings, 21 of 58 (.362), 8 Runs, 2 Doubles, 2 HRs, 7 RBI, 3 Walks, 5 SBs

Awards

Top Ten Finishes

Batting Average - 8 Times (1887 Batting Title)
On-base % – 4 Times
Slugging % – 8 Times (Led league in 1887 & 1895)
OPS – 6 Times
Games - 4 Times
At Bats - 5 Times (Led league in 1887 & 1893)
Runs - 5 Times
Hits - 7 Times (Led league in 1887, 1890 & 1893)
Doubles - 7 Times (Led league in 1890 & 1893)
Triples - 5 Times (Led league in 1887)
Home Runs - 10 Times (Led league in 1889 & 1895)
Total Bases - 9 Times (led league in 1887 & 1895)
Extra-base Hits - 10 Times (led league in 1926 & 1895)
RBI - 10 Times (led league in 1887 & 1895)
Hit by Pitch – 4 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Batting – 42 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 200 (39) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 46.0 (96) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 154.5 (74) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Big Sam killed the opposition from 1885-1896 collecting virtually 100 Runs & RBIs every season.  He hit .370 or bertter four times (including three straight from 1893-1895).  During that three year stretch he averaged .388, 204 Hits, 123 Runs, 37 Doubles, 20 Triples, 14 HRs, 144 RBI, and 23 SBs.  Talk about dominance.  In 1894 he was part of an Outfield that featured three .400 hitters.  He holds the mark for the highest RBI/gm total with .923/gm.  He was the Active Home Run Leader from 1898-1906 (Roger Connor was the All-time leader).  His 166 RBI in 1887 still ranks 12th on the All-time list, and stood until 1921 when Babe Ruth drove in 171.  His 27 Triples in 1894 are tied for 7th on the All-time list.  It’s clear to see why Sam Thompson was enshrined.  I just wish I had a chance to see him play.

References
Baseball-reference.com
BR Bullpen

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