During his career the left-handed hitting outfielder, “Big Sam” was known not only for his distinctive handlebar mustache, but as one of the greatest run producers of his time. He possessed a powerful throwing arm and after all these years is still 12th all-time for outfield assists with 283. He was one of the greatest power hitters of the “dead-ball era” and at the end of the 19th century he was second only to Roger Connor for career home runs. He spent 15 seasons playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Wolverines, Philadelphia Quakers and Detroit Tigers, and was consistently among the league leaders in batting avg., homeruns and RBIs. In 1887, he would win the batting title and become the 1st player to have 200 hits in a season, be the 1st 20-20 player, and his 166 RBIs would be a record that would stand until Babe Ruth broke it in 1921. He lead the league in homeruns twice, hits three times, and RBIs three times, finishing with career totals of 126 HRs, 1988 hits, 1305 RBIs and a .331 avg.
August 14, 2014