Jim O'Rourke

Left Fielder

Class of 1945

Jim O'Rourke

Left Fielder

Class of 1945
The batter who slashed the National League’s first hit, Jim O’Rourke played the game professionally past the age of 50.

Games

Birth year

About Jim O'Rourke

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 the New York Giants to their first two league championships in 1888 and 1889. In 1889 at age 38, 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 hitting .287 as a 42-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 passed away on Jan. 8, 1919. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.

The Basics

Year inducted
1945
Birth Place
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Birth Year
1850
Died
1919, Bridgeport Connecticut

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
New York Giants
Primary Position
Left Fielder
Bats
Right
Throws
Right
Played For
Boston Red Stockings, 1876-1878
Providence Grays, 1879
Boston Red Stockings, 1880
Buffalo Bisons, 1881-1884
New York Giants, 1885-1889
New York Giants PL, 1890
New York Giants, 1891-1892
Washington Senators, 1893
New York Giants, 1904

Career MLB Stats

Games
1,999
At bats
8,503
Runs
1,729
Hits
2,639
Doubles
468
Triples
149
Home Runs
62
RBI
1,208
Stolen Bases
229
Walks
513
Batting Average
.310
Ops
.775
On Base %
.352
Slugging %
.422