Famous Danville Resident, Samuel Thompson: Baseball’s “Big Sam”

Danville, Indiana, a small satellite community just to the west of state capital Indianapolis, has one famous native son: Hall of Fame baseball player and Indianapolis sports legend Samuel Thompson. Known as “Big Sam”, Samuel Thompson still holds two major league records: one for most RBI’s per game (.923) and one for most RBI’s in a month (61). That’s pretty impressive, considering he was active in the late 1800’s!

Samuel Thompson began playing professional baseball in 1885, when he signed on with the Detroit Wolverines as an outfielder. He went on to achieve a World Series victory with the Wolverines before the team folded due to financial problems in 1888. After the Wolverines were disbanded, Samuel Thompson was sold to the Philadelphia Quakers (now know as the Phillies) for only $5000. During his career with the Quakers, he achieved considerable success, earning over 100 RBI’s every season, except for two, and earning over 100 runs every season, except for one in which he had 99.

Samuel Thompson‘s career ended after the 1906 season, in which he played in eight games for the Detroit Tigers after a ten year absence from major league baseball due to back problems. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974; “Big Sam” still remains a giant in the heart of every Danville sports enthusiast.

Video of Samuel Thompson’s place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thompson was born in Danville, Indiana


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