I don’t think there is a player anywhere that has captured and held my imagination the way Bobby Orr has. I knew his name before I ever watched a game and the announcement of his retirement is one of those moments that has been burned into the memory banks along with where I as and what I was doing when the story broke. (For the record, this was sitting in the family van heading towards Banff National Park, which, oddly enough, is also where I was when we heard about Elvis.)
Whenever I get a chance and there is an old Bruins game on LeafsTV, I watch it solely for the purpose of watching Orr. It’s magic.
So of course, when Orr turned 65 last week (March 20), I was ready with a big tribute post, right? Well, no. Did I at least have all my cards scanned so I could make this great career retrospective? Of course not. I still haven’t done it. Fortunately, there are old scans I’ve never posted, like this one.
This card is #92 from the ’67-68 Topps release. It’s the last one produced under the Topps banner by OPC and is a bit of an odd set in that they decided against trying to deal with the six new expansion teams, so half the league is missing. Still, it’s a set with a great design and bright colours that really display well. Orr has three cards here – this one, his Calder-Trophy winner (that uses the same picture) and a Second-Team All-Star card (the image from which would appear in both 1968 and 1969). It’s one you don’t see that often, most of the hobby love heading towards his RC.
More than just about any other retired player, Orr gets a ton of hobby love. There seems to be a new base card in just about every release and some new autographs every year that never fail to draw at least $100. I’ll pick up the odd one of the base cards if I happen to like the picture (and I’d love one of the autos) but I never consider these to be “the real thing.” For me, to really be magic, it has to be one of the cards from his playing days. The new stuff is fun, but a collection can be complete without it.
Happy birthday, Bobby. I should have everything scanned in time for your 70th.