Jim O'Rourke (o'rouch01)
James Patrick O'Rourke
Also known as Charlie O'Rourke
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- School Santa Clara University
- High School St. Patrick's High School (Walla Walla)
- Debut June 16, 1959
- Final Game June 16, 1959
- Born June 22, 1937 in Walla Walla, WA USA
In 1958 Jim O'Rourke, a member of the Santa Clara University baseball team, led the Drain Black Sox to the National Baseball Congress World Series championship and was named MVP of the tournament. On June 6, 1959 he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent. One source says he signed for a $60,000 bonus, (the SABR biography of Jeoff Long).
That same year, the Cardinals signed another young player, 17-year-old Tim McCarver, who would go on to a 21-year career in the major leagues.
O'Rourke made his major league debut on June 16th, appearing in both games of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, going hitless in two at-bats. He was assigned to the Tulsa Oilers of the AA Texas League shortly thereafter, where he appeared in 44 games hitting .274 with 5 home runs the balance of the season. The two big league games turned out to be Charlie's only chance at the Show.
Charlie was with three teams in 1960, Tulsa, Memphis and Rochester and the split season saw him put up a combined .254 batting average with 4 home runs in 104 games. He spent the 1961 season with the Lancaster Red Roses of the class A Eastern League, hitting .267 and 17 homers in 135 games. 1962 was to be O'Rourke's last season and he spent it with two clubs, the Portsmouth-Norfolk Tides and Tulsa again, falling to a .203 average with 10 home runs in 111 games and he decided to return to his home town of Walla Walla, WA. Charlie had spent four years in the minors hitting at a career .247 clip with 36 homers in 394 games.
After returning home he entered the investment business and later lived in Spokane, WA, where he owned O'Rourke Realty, a property investment company specializing in recreational developments.