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Dave Orr

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David L. Orr

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[edit] Biographical Information

1888 baseball card for David L. Orr of the Brooklyn Bridgegrooms
". . . the greatest hitter that ever played ball was old Dave Orr. . . I have always held that Dave Orr was the strongest and best hitter that ever played ball." - Hall of Famer Dan Brouthers, quoted in Sporting Life of September 22, 1894, after discussing Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley, Sam Thompson and himself
"He was a mighty slugger and his home-run drives earned him the reputation of being the greatest batter in the world." - from the Sporting Life obituary of Dave Orr in 1915

Dave Orr's Adjusted OPS of 162 is one of the highest of all-time, ranking him slightly above Stan Musial. Although his career was not long, his batting average ranks as one of the best ever.

Orr's career lasted only 8 years as he was cut down by a stroke in 1890 which ended his career. His left side was paralyzed. He did some umpiring after that (including at the major league level), and worked odd jobs, including as caretaker at Ebbetts Field and press box attendant for a team in the Federal League.

Orr played mostly in the American Association, although in his last year he played well in the Players League, hitting .371, which was a close second in the league.

In his best years, 1884 and 1885, he dominated the league with the highest OPS+ each year.

Orr was a heavy man, at 5' 11" and 250 lbs., perhaps a precursor to the stout Babe Ruth (although Ruth was not heavy in his earlier years). That comparison is reinforced by the fact that Orr had a lifetime batting average of .342, the same as Ruth. Remarkably for a man of his dimensions, he twice led the league in triples.

Prior to his major league years, Orr played professional ball for Newark, Hartford, and a Brooklyn team called the Alaskas.

After baseball, he worked as a watchman in New York, and was struck by a "slight stroke of paralysis" but was still as cheery as ever. See this newspaper article [1].

One source: SABR Biography of Dave Orr.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AA Batting Average Leader (1884)
  • 2-time AA Slugging Percentage Leader (1885 & 1886)
  • 2-time AA Hits Leader (1884 & 1886)
  • 2-time AA Triples Leader (1885 & 1886)
  • AA RBI Leader (1884)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1884 & 1890)

[edit] Records Held

  • Triples, right handed batter, season, 31, 1886

[edit] Related Sites

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