Jim O'Rourke

Jim O'Rourke
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1945
Primary team: New York Giants
Primary position: Left Fielder

The batter who slashed the National League’s first hit, Jim O’Rourke played the game professionally past the age of 50 before continuing his baseball life as a manager, umpire and minor league president.

Explaining his longevity, O’Rourke said, “I lived a clean life. I never touched liquor in any form, nor did I ever use tobacco. I always took care of myself. That’s the reason I’m playing ball today, and that is the reason why I can enjoy the game.”

Nicknamed “Orator Jim” because of a tendency toward lengthy rhetoric, O’Rourke captured the NL batting title in 1884 with a .347 average. During his career, he batted .300 or better 13 times and finished with a .310 average.

O’Rourke hit a career-high .362 with the 1877 Boston Red Stockings, leading the National League with an on-base percentage of .407. He scored a league-leading 68 runs in 61 games.

O’Rourke helped New York to its first two league championships in 1888 and 1889. In 1889, he batted .321 with 81 RBI and 33 stolen bases.

In 1890 when a member of the New York Giants of the Players League, O’Rourke put together a standout season. He batted .360 with a career-high 115 RBI in 111 games and a career-high nine home runs.

O’Rourke continued to play in the minor leagues after hit-ting .287 as a 43-year-old in 1893 for Washington. At the age of 54, he played one more game in the major leagues with the New York Giants, going 1-for-4 for manager John McGraw.

"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, 1878

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1945
Primary Team: New York Giants
Position Played: Left Fielder
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Birth year: 1850
Died: 1919, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Managed:
Buffalo Bisons (1881-1884)
Washington Senators (1893)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
1999
At BatsAB
8503
RunsR
1729
HitsH
2639
Doubles2B
468
Triples3B
149
Home RunsHR
62
RBIRBI
1208
Stolen BasesSB
229
WalksBB
513
Batting AverageBA
.310
OPSOPS
.775
On Base %OBP
.352
Slugging %SLG
.422