Though claimed by Boston, Bobby Orr was a Canadian through and through. Born in Parry Sound, Ontario, the defenseman began his career in 1962, when he played four seasons for the Oshawa Generals in Ontario.
Even as a star player with the Bruins, Orr carved out time to participate in the 1972 Summit Series, which pitted Canada’s best against the Soviet Union’s (a knee injury sidelined him, but he practiced with his teammates and reveled in their narrow, come-from-behind series victory). Orr made an even greater contribution when he played for Team Canada in 1976 Canada Cup—he was named the MVP of that contest.
In his 10 seasons with the Bruins, Orr led his team to victory in two Stanley Cups, won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1970 and 1972, and was the first player to be named MVP of a Stanley Cup twice. In particular, his 1970-1971 season was outstanding, when Orr racked up the most points, as well as assists, by a defenseman, a record that still stands.
At the end of the 1976 season, Orr left the Bruins for a reportedly better deal with the Chicago Black Hawks (Orr’s agent was eventually sent to prison for misleading clients and stealing), but injuries keep him off the ice for all but 26 games over the course of three seasons. Orr retired in 1979 and that year, at the age of 31, became the youngest player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
When it comes to Bobby Orr hockey memorabilia, naturally his 1966 Topps rookie card is the prize. Orr hockey cards from 1967 are also highly collectible, especially his player card from that year (the 1967 Topps All-Star and Calder Memorial Trophy cards are less sought-after). Another catch is his James Norris Trophy card from 1970.
Unique to Orr collectibles is a vinyl LP titled “The Two Sides of Bobby Orr,” which features interviews with Orr by Bruins TV announcer Don Earle. Another collectible particular to Orr is a signed photo of “The Goal,” as it’s known. Taken by Boston Record-American photographer Ray Lussier, the photo shows Orr flying over the ice after scoring the winning goal, and then being tripped, to win the 1970 Stanley Cup in overtime.
Orr’s game-worn Bruins jerseys are far more desirable than jerseys from his ill-fated seasons with the Black Hawks, although diehard fans may want one of each. These days, Orr’s website even sells limited edition, signed replica jerseys from his days as a member of the Oshawa Generals, as well as jerseys bearing the colors of his hometown Parry Sound Shamrocks.