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.).
|Born: September 1, 1850|
|Died: January 8, 1919 (aged 68)|
|April 26, 1872, for the Middletown Mansfields|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 22, 1904, for the New York Giants|
|Runs batted in||1,208|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veteran's Committee|
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., 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.
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.
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. O'Rourke is one of only 29 players in baseball history to appear in Major League games in four decades.
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."
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.
O'Rourke has made a brilliant record for himself as an outfielder, being an excellent judge of a ball, a swift runner, and making the most difficult running catches with the utmost ease and certainty. As a thrower, too, he stands pre-eminent, being credited with a throw of 365 feet, the next to the longest yet accomplished by any player.— The Sporting Life
| Hitting for the cycle
June 16, 1884
| Career home run record holder
Events from the year 1919 in the United States.James O'Rourke
James O'Rourke may refer to:
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The Buffalo Bisons were a Major League Baseball team that was based in Buffalo, New York. They played in the National League from 1879 through 1885. During their time as a Major League team, the Bisons employed five different managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.List of Washington Senators (1891–1899) managers
The Washington Senators were a Major League Baseball team that played in Washington, D.C.. They played in the American Association when it was considered a major league in 1891 and in the National League from 1892 through 1899, after which the team was eliminated when the National League contracted from twelve teams to eight teams. In their inaugural season, they played as the Washington Statesmen. During their time as a Major League team, the Senators employed 12 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.The Senators first manager was Sam Trott. Trott managed the Senators for 12 games before being replaced by Pop Snyder. Gus Schmelz holds the Senators' record for most games managed (434), managerial wins (155) and managerial losses (270). Tom Brown and Jack Doyle share the Senators' record for highest winning percentage as manager, with .471. Billy Barnie, who didn't win either of the two games he managed, holds the Senators' record for fewest wins. Arthur Irwin is the only Senators manager who served more than a single term. Irwin was one of three managers the Senators employed in its first National League season of 1892, and also the last Senators manager. In total, Irwin managed 293 games for the Senators, with 110 wins and 177 losses for a winning percentage of .383. Jim O'Rourke is the only Senators manager to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.O'Rourke
O'Rourke (Irish: Ó Ruairc) is an Irish Gaelic clan based most prominently in what is today County Leitrim. The family were the historic rulers of Breifne and later West Breifne until the 17th century.
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.
|Inducted as a Giant|
|Inductees who played|
for the Giants