Jim “Orator” O’Rourke

Monarch Corona Diamond Collection card #6

I made this card in 2009, at which time I printed 200 of them on an old AB Dick press, using a nice thick stock very similar to what was used by Fleer in their abbreviated 1963 set. A few of these were given away as print samples, and the rest were eventually sold online. That was quite awhile back. I have tried searching for one, but I guess they are all in the hands of private collectors, or sitting at the bottom of some kid’s toybox. I don’t reprint any of my cards, so if you have one of these, you might want to hold onto it.

O’Rourke really deserved to have a decent card made of him. He was one of the most colorful and influential men in baseball during his heyday.

The first officially recorded base hit in the history of professional baseball was made by Jim O’Rourke on April 22, 1876 while playing for the Boston Red Stockings of the brand new National League.

He was among the best hitters in baseball throughout his long career, and able to play any position well, including pitching. He also had outstanding success as a manager.

During the off-season, O’Rourke was an attorney, and he had a large and florid vocabulary in all of his occupations. In response to a request by shortstop Johnny Peters for a $10 pay advance, the “Orator” replied:
“The exigencies of the occasion and the present condition of our exchequer will not permit this. Subsequent developments in our finances could eclipse the present gloom, and we may speculate that upon some future occasion it might become feasible to reply in the affirmative to what is an exceedingly modest request.” Thus the nickname!