World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jim O'Rourke (baseball)

Article Id: WHEBN0000759214
Reproduction Date:

Title: Jim O'Rourke (baseball)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: HistBaseHitLdr1, List of Major League Baseball progressive career home runs leaders, Andy Leonard, Ross Barnes, HistBaseHitLdr2
Collection: 1850 Births, 1919 Deaths, 19Th-Century Baseball Players, American People of Irish Descent, Baseball Players from Connecticut, Boston Red Caps Players, Boston Red Stockings Players, Bridgeport Orators Players, Bridgeport Soubrettes Players, Bridgeport Victors Players, Buffalo Bisons (Nl) Managers, Buffalo Bisons (Nl) Players, Connecticut Lawyers, Major League Baseball Left Fielders, Major League Baseball Player-Managers, Middletown Mansfields Players, Minor League Baseball Managers, National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees, National League Home Run Champions, New Haven Murlins Players, New York Giants (Nl) Players, New York Giants (Pl) Players, People from Connecticut, Providence Grays Players, Sportspeople from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Springfield Ponies Players, Washington Senators (1891–99) Managers, Washington Senators (1891–99) Players, Washington Senators (Nl) Managers, Yale Law School Alumni
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jim O'Rourke (baseball)

Jim O'Rourke
Born: (1850-09-01)September 1, 1850
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Died: January 8, 1919(1919-01-08) (aged 68)
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 1872, for the Middletown Mansfields
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1904, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average .311
Hits 2,643
Runs 1,729

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted 1945
Election Method Veteran's Committee

James Henry O'Rourke (September 1, 1850 – January 8, 1919), nicknamed "Orator Jim", was an American professional baseball player in the National Association and Major League Baseball who played primarily as a left fielder. For the period 1876–1892, he ranks behind only Cap Anson in career major league games played (1644), hits (2146), at-bats (6884), doubles (392) and total bases (2936), and behind only Harry Stovey in runs scored (1370). (Stovey was a younger player. Anson played five seasons and O'Rourke four prior to 1876.)


  • Biography 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


O'Rourke was born in East Bridgeport, Connecticut, and worked on his family's farm while playing youth league and semi-pro baseball. He began his professional career as a member of the Middletown Mansfields in 1872, joining the one-year-old National Association team as a catcher. The Mansfields were not a top-tier team, and folded in August, but O'Rourke had impressed other teams sufficiently enough to be offered a contract with the Boston Red Stockings, with whom he played until 1878. On April 22, 1876, O'Rourke had the first base hit in National League history.

He graduated from Yale Law School in 1887 with an LL.B.,[1] practicing law in Bridgeport between early playing stints, and earning the nickname "Orator Jim" because of his verbosity on the field, his intellect, and his law degree—uncommon in a game regarded as a rough immigrant sport at the time.[2]

After leaving the major leagues following the 1893 season he continued to play in the minor leagues until he was over 50 years old. As an executive of the Bridgeport team in the Connecticut League, in 1895 O'Rourke hired the first African American minor league baseball player in history.[3]

In 1904 he made a final appearance with the New York Giants under manager and friend John McGraw, becoming at age 54 the oldest player ever to appear in the National League, and the oldest player to hit safely in a major league game.[4][5][6] O'Rourke is one of only 29 players in baseball history to appear in Major League games in four decades.

In 1912 returned to the field to catch a complete minor league game at the age of 60.[7][8]

O'Rourke died of pneumonia at age 68 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 as one of the earliest inductees from the 19th century. His older brother John O'Rourke and his son James "Queenie" O'Rourke also played in the majors.

One legend concerning O'Rourke is that he was asked to drop the "O'" from his last name when he signed a contract with Boston and its Protestant backers. The son of irish immigrants and the husband of a woman born in Ireland, O'Rourke refused, saying "I would rather die than give up my father's name. A million dollars would not tempt me."[9]

Another legend about O'Rourke is that his signing by the Mansfields in 1872 was conditioned on the team finding someone to take over O'Rourke's chores on his parents' farm.

See also


  1. ^ New York Times, O'Rourke Becomes a Lawyer, November 6, 1887
  2. ^ C.J. Hughes, Famous and Forgotten: A Baseball Legend From Bridgeport, New York Times (Aug. 8, 2004)
  3. ^ Bridgeport Banner, A Fitting Tribute for Orator Jim (Jun. 17, 2009) A Fitting Tribute for Orator Jim
  4. ^ Meriden Daily Journal, Bostons in Lead: American Race, September 27, 1904
  5. ^ Detroit Free Press, Old Jim O'Rourke in Giants' Century Win, September 23, 1904
  6. ^ Scott Gargan, Fairfield News-Times, It’s a Hit: Baseball Exhibit at Fairfield Museum and History Center, June 21, 2010
  7. ^ New York Times, Holds Record for Playing Baseball, September 14, 1913
  8. ^ Lewiston Daily Sun, O'Rourke Connected With Baseball Half Century, January 14, 1916
  9. ^ Lawrence Baldassaro and Richard A. Johnson, eds., The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity (S. Ill. Univ. Press 2002), pp.61–62

External links

  • Jim O'Rourke at the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.