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Lot # 793 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1915 James O'Rourke Signed Book

Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $9,400.00

The signature of Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke is exceedingly rare and is often absent in even the most advanced autograph collections. Offered here is a superlative James O’Rourke signature example found in a most unlikely place. O’Rourke has flawlessly penned his name, “James H. O’Rourke,” in black fountain pen (grading “10”) upon the front flyleaf of a 1915 State of Connecticut agricultural report. This book originates from the famed Barry Halper Collection and was one of the cornerstone pieces to his comprehensive Hall of Fame autograph collection. While we don’t know for certain, this book was most likely O’Rourke’s personal copy. O’Rourke lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, his entire life and was one of the town’s leading citizens, serving on both the fire and paving-and-street commissions. He also attended Yale and was a practicing attorney. Therefore, it would not have been unusual to find this book relating to his home state on his library shelf. The 121-page hardbound book is officially titled Forty-Seventh Annual Report of the Secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Agriculture – July 1st, 1915 , and was published by the state in 1915. Nicknamed "Orator Jim" for his acute verbosity, O’Rourke was one of the top hitters of the nineteenth century and his career included time in the National Association, the National League and the Player's League. He finished his career with a .310 lifetime average and one batting title (1884 with Buffalo). Following his playing days, O'Rourke managed in the minors, umpired for one year in the Majors, and was president of the Connecticut League (which later became the Eastern Association). Although O'Rourke was active both in local public affairs and in the world of baseball for a number of years, his signature is extremely rare in any form. He passed away in 1919 and wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 1945. The book (6 x 9 inches) displays moderate wear to the cloth boards and is in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $9,400.00

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