Sam Thompson (March 5, 1860 - November 7, 1922) was a 19th century Major League Baseball player. "Big Sam" (6 feet 2 inches, and 200 pounds) was known for his offensive production and was second on the career home runs list at the time of his retirement.
Born in Danville, Indiana, Thompson entered the National League in 1885 with the Detroit Wolverines and played his first full season in 1886. An outfielder, Thompson had his breakout season in 1887 when he batted .372 with 118 runs, 203 hits, 11 home runs and 166 RBI en route to leading the Wolverines to the National League pennant as well as a World Series victory of the St. Louis Browns of the then-major American Association (19th century).
In 1889, Thompson moved to the Philadelphia Quakers (known as the Philadelphia Phillies beginning in 1890), the team he would play for until 1898. Thompson enjoyed his most consistent years from 1889 until 1896, only missing the 100 RBI plateau once (with 90, in 1891) and 100 runs plateau once (with 99 in 1894) while batting .407 in 1894 and leading the league in home runs in 1889 and 1895 (with 20 and 18 respectively). After the 1898 season, he left baseball for nearly a decade before briefly returning to play in 8 games for the Detroit Tigers. He retired with 1256 runs, 1299 RBI and a .331 batting average. He also retired with 127 home runs, which was at the time second only to Roger Connor.
Thompson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
Mandonlinist Chris Thile has a song called "Big Sam Thompson" on his album Not All Who Wander Are Lost.