“Orator” Jim O’Rourke was the Boston Red Caps (now the Atlanta Braves) leading hitter in 1878. The Red Caps would end up finishing first with him leading the charge. He batted .278 which doesn’t sound like a lot for a leading hitter.
“Deacon” Jim White, the leading hitter the year before, had left for Cincinnati. With White gone, the Braves ended up just four games ahead of Cincinnati.
So with poor hitting, the Braves depended on strong pitching and a great defense. Just like today to some extent.
And, so “Orator” replaced “Deacon”. Sounds fitting.