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Jim O'Rourke (baseball player)

From Academic Kids

James Henry O'Rourke (August 24, 1852 - January 8, 1919), nicknamed "Orator Jim", was an American professional baseball player in the National Association and Major League Baseball who was primarily a left fielder. In the era before the establishment of the pitching mound in 1893, he ranked behind only Cap Anson in career games played (1644), hits (2146), at-bats (6884), doubles (392) and total bases (2936), and behind only Harry Stovey in runs scored (1370).

He was born in East Bridgeport, Connecticut. On April 22, 1876, he made the first base hit in major league history. After leaving the major leagues following the 1893 season, he continued to play in the minor leagues until he was over 50 years old; in 1904 he made a final appearance with the New York Giants under manager and friend John McGraw, becoming at age 52 the oldest player ever to appear in the National League. He returned to the minors as president of the Connecticut League, and in 1912 returned to the field to catch a complete game at the age of 60.

O'Rourke died of pneumonia at age 66 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 as one of the earliest inductees from the 19th century.

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