David L. Orr
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 250 lb.
- Debut May 17, 1883
- Final Game October 2, 1890
- Born September 29, 1859 in New York, NY USA
- Died June 2, 1915 in Richmond Hill, NY USA
". . . 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
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.
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.
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 .
- 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)
- Triples, right handed batter, season, 31, 1886