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    1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Jim O'Rourke SGC 20 FR 1.5. Baseball was still in its early years when Jim O'Rourke became one of its first superstars who is credited with belting out the first hit of the new National League in April of 1876. More commonly known as "Orator Jim," his verbal assaults on opponents earned him his nickname. O'Rourke played for 16 years, appeared in 1,644 games, batting .311 lifetime, amassed 2,146 hits on 6,884 at-bats, and scored 1,370 runs. Playing in both the National Association and Major League Baseball, O'Rourke was a giant on the ball field, a graduate of Yale Law School who practiced law during the off-season. After his professional years had passed, he continued to play minor league ball and made an appearance in 1904 for John McGraw's New York Giants at the ripe old age of 53. This is believed to be the oldest any man hit safely in a major league game.

    N690 Kalamazoo Bats are among the rarest baseball cards and a full checklist probably may never be known. They are also near the top of the desirability list as every vintage collector dreams of laying claim to at least one example. This O'Rourke is a new discovery found within the pages of an old dusty book. To the extent of our research, this is only the second N690 O'Rourke we can confirm to exist. The real photo image has retained a pleasing level of detail and a full range of values. The portrait is impacted only by an obvious crease and is largely free of any other surface imperfections or dirt. The reverse shows light soiling and an ink notation reading "Present to Ella Sheeley by Mary L. Decker."New finds of 19th Century cards are few and far between. To discover a new example from a major release of a prominent figure in baseball history is a major addition to the hobby collective.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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