Jim O'Rourke Celebrity LifeBorn on 1st September 1850, James O’Rourke was given the nickname of “Orator Jim”. A professional baseball player in the United States of America, O’Rourke played in the Major League Baseball and the National Association. The former player passed away on 8th January 1919.
He mostly played as a left fielder and ranks only behind Cap Anson for the years 1876 to 1892 in the games played in the major league (1644), at-bats (6884), total bases (2936). Doubles (392), and hits (2146). O’Rourke only trailed behind Harry Stovey in the department of total runs scored (1370).
Born in Connecticut’s East Bridgeport, O’Rourke worked on the farm of his family and played semi-pro baseball and youth league at the same time. In 1872, he started his professional baseball career by joining the Middletown Mansfields.
A career as a baseball player
In 1887, O’Rourke completed his graduation law from Yale Law School. He not only played baseball but also practiced law in Bridgeport in the beginning. He was given the nickname of “Orator Jim” due to his wordiness in the field, his degree in law, and his high level of intellect. All these traits were unusual in the game then as baseball was considered to be a kind of rough immigrant sport during that time.
He left playing in the major leagues after the season of 1893. However, he continued to participate in minor leagues until he crossed 50 years. In 1895, he was an executive in the Connecticut League’s Bridgeport team and recruited the 1st minor league baseball player of African American descent in history.
The legendary baseball player passed away in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was suffering from pneumonia and was 68-year-old during his death. In 1945, O’Rourke’s name was included in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He became one of the earliest inclusions amongst the players in the nineteenth century. James “Queenie” O’Rourke, his son, and John O’Rourke, his older brother were also players in the major leagues.
There is a legend that was regarding the player’s refusal to remove the letter “O” from his surname. It reportedly took place when he entered into an agreement with Boston, as well as, its Protestant backers. As his wife was born in Ireland and his parents were also Irish immigrants, he did not agree to the removal mentioning that he would prefer to die rather than giving up the name of his father. He seems to have added that even a million dollars would fail to tempt him.
According to The Sporting Life, O’Rourke performed brilliantly as an outfielder. He was also a great judge of balls and a fast runner and could catch the toughest running catches with certainty and complete ease. He was also an excellent thrower and is credited with throwing at 365 feet.
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