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    One of the toughest Hall of Fame autographs...

    1911 Jim O'Rourke Handwritten Signed Letter, PSA/DNA NM 7. The author of the first base hit in National League history, O'Rourke made his rookie debut with the 1872 Middletown Mansfields of the National Association before joining the Wright brothers of the Boston Red Stockings as the team led the charge of the sport's burgeoning professionalism. The Sporting Life magazine celebrated O'Rourke's talents in this 1878 text:

    "O'Rourke has made a brilliant record for himself as an outfielder, being an excellent judge of a ball, a swift runner, and making the most difficult running catches with the utmost ease and certainty. As a thrower, too, he stands pre-eminent, being credited with a throw of 365 feet, the next to the longest yet accomplished by any player."

    Yet despite engagement in over four decades of the organized game, O'Rourke remains one of the foremost challenges for collectors of Hall of Fame autographs, with auction offerings over the past twenty years calculable on the fingers with digits to spare. Handwritten letters are rarer still, with this just the second opportunity for the advanced collector to own an example thereof.

    From his Bridgeport, Connecticut hometown where he'd pass away in 1919, O'Rourke writes to a player on"Connecticut League of Base Ball Club" letterhead in his capacity as league secretary. He writes:

    "Dear Sir -- You are hereby notified that the directors of the Connecticut League have awarded you to the New Britain Base Ball Club and you are requested [illegible] there on April 10th 1911 - reporting day of said club, Yours truly, J.H. O'Rourke, Secy."

    O'Rourke's black fountain pen ink survives with 8/10 or better strength, and the 8.5x11" page exhibits original mailing folds and staple holes at upper left corner, but not a single fault of any concern. Unquestionably one of the rarest autographed items that Heritage has had the privilege to present. Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA, NM 7. Full LOA from SGC Authentic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    17th-18th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 661

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