Bobby Orr’s Old New Number

March 24th, 2013

Everyone knows that Bobby Orr wore #4 during his playing days. You also might know that he wore #27 for a brief period of time during training camp his rookie year. However I bet you didn’t know that me may have also worn #24.

Now this is purely speculation because as far as I know, there are no pictures of him at all wearing #24, but check this out.

I recently won this program from Classic Auctions in Canada. Here is the lineup.

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Look at the Boston lineup. Orr is listed as #24.

Here’s a little background on this program. It’s from a training camp game between the Bruins and their minor league affiliate the Oklahoma Blazers during Orr’s rookie season of 1966-67 . This game took place in Oshawa, which of course is where Orr played previously. The lineups for each team are glued into place.

Whats also interesting is the program is recycled from the 1965-66 season as seen in the picture.

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So did he actually wear #24 for the game? Unknown for sure. The other question I have is when did this game actually take place? There is no date on the program at all. Orr’s first professional pre-season game as a Bruin was on October 23, 1966. I wrote about it here. However, the following letter came with the program and contends that this game took place prior. Read it for yourselves.

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Very interesting. That’s a wealth of information right there. Regardless of when it took place. I think it’s a unique piece of Orr memorabilia.

Hope you enjoyed reading about #24. See you again next weekend with some more vintage Bobby Orr items.

Bobby Orr’s Hall of Fame

March 17th, 2013

I’m sure that you all know about the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Although I’ve never been, I’m sure that there’s no shortage of Orr items on display. Do you also know however that Bobby Orr has his own Hall of Fame in his hometown of Parry Sound, Ontario? You probably did.

Besides displaying a wide variety of Orr memorabilia, it also inducts individuals from the Parry Sound area. Here is the criteria for nomination and induction:

“The mandate of the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame Selection Committee is to select worthy inductees in to The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame and to acknowledge the significant contribution and exceptional achievement to athletics and sports.

The nominees must have a direct connection with Parry Sound, or the Parry Sound Area as defined by the following criteria:
Born in Parry Sound or the Parry Sound Area OR
Raised or spent his/her formative years in Parry Sound or the Parry Sound Area or
Achieved his/her athletic prominence in Parry Sound or the Parry Sound Area or
Made his/her contribution to athletics or sports while living in Parry Sound or the Parry Sound Area.

The inductee(s) may be selected in any one of the four following categories:

Athlete
Builder
Team
Honorary”

Each year since 2003 there are induction ceremonies held. I recently picked up a few of the induction display posters and will show you them now.

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Here is the first class from 2003 that was inducted in January 2004. Orr of course was the first inductee.

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The second class.

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Number three.

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Four.

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Finally the fifth class, which is a favorite of mine because it includes the one and only Don Cherry.

You may notice that even though Orr was inducted in the first class, he’s still prominently featured on the other posters except for the 2006/07 class which he is only seen in the top right of the poster.

There are also programs for each year that can be bought directly from the gift shop in the hall.

Check out the Hall’s site here.

There you have this week’s Orr memorabilia. See you again next weekend. Don’t forget Bobby’s birthday is this Wednesday the 20th. The man turns 65. Hard to believe.

Exporting Bobby Orr – Toronto Style

March 10th, 2013

A few weeks ago I featured the 1966-67 Export calendar from Forum de Montreal. This week I have its counterpart from Maple Leaf Gardens. To show just how similar they are, I’m also going to again show you the pages from the Montreal calendar.

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Here we have the first page, which of course features the hometown Leafs team which won the Stanley Cup the previous year.

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The all-stars are still the same, but take a look at where each player’s photo is and then compare it to the Montreal page below.

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Exactly the same except they reversed the two first team defensemen, Harry Howell and Pierre Pilote. Orr’s photo is unchanged.

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As far as the award winners go, Orr’s photo looks different to me. It’s obviously bigger on the Maple Leafs calendar. There’s something about how his face looks that’s throwing me off. It’s probably just me however. They always use the same photo.

As far as other differences, being as it is a Maple Leafs calendar, they included a photo of goalie Terry Sawchuk who won an award given out by the Maple Leafs organization.

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Lastly, I wanted to included the photo below.

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This is from a page that features the Minor League Champions. The Oklahoma City Blazers were a Bruins farm team. I know it’s difficult to see, but on the team were future Bruins Gerry Cheevers, Wayne Cashman, Derek Sanderson and Dallas Smith as well as others who briefly played for the Bruins but went on to be better known with other NHL teams. Some of them include Doug Favell, Jean Pronovost, Ross Lonsberry, Terry Crisp, Glen Sather and J.P Parise.

There is you look at the first two calendars that feature Orr. There a a lot more coming your way in the future. See you again next weekend with more Bobby Orr memorabilia.

A First for Bobby Orr

March 3rd, 2013

This week I have three Orr items to show you that constitute a first for Orr. Now I know that a first can mean almost anything in his career, but my main focus is on three specific magazine covers, which you all should know by now is one of my favorite Orr items to collect.

We’ll start off with the earliest.

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Here we have the Bruins media guide from Orr’s second year. This is the first of a few times that Orr was featured on the cover. A few things stand out immediately. First is Orr’s jersey. The Bruins changed up their uniform before the season, but this pic is from Orr’s rookie season. Second and most striking is that Bruins goalie Ed Johnston isn’t wearing a mask.

Here is the inside with the write-up on Orr.

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Next up is his first Sports Illustrated cover from 1967.

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Here we have a bloodied Orr from early in his second season. You can also see a great shot of Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers, pre-stitched mask. Orr would appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated a total of five times.

The third first is a true first.

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Here we have the first ever edition of Hockey Digest. The Bruins were defending Stanley Cup champions and it only made sense that Orr grace the cover.

None of these magazines are considered rare and you can find them listed on Ebay most of the time. The Bruins media guide is the most expensive of the bunch and is usually listed for over $100.

That’s all for this week. See you again soon with more vintage Bobby Orr items.

No “Pucken” Around with Bobby Orr

February 24th, 2013

This week I have another guest blog from Danny about an Orr item that we both have. He did a great write up on this so enjoy!

A lot of us Orr collectors may have a card/sticker or two of Bobby from his European treasures that most likely came from Sweden/Finland or Germany.

This week on the blog we will talk about what I think is his rarest Euro card from Europe.

In 1974 in Sweden and Finland, they came out with a magazine which is a comic book of hockey called “Pucken”, pardon the phrase in the title but you get what I mean.

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That year they had 3 magazines in total and then in 1975 they put out another 3 magazines for a total of 6 between the two years and then “Pucken” disappeared.

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The back cover of each magazine had cut out cards of 4 players. With 6 total magazines between the two years you could collect a total of 24 players as singles.

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When a single was cut out the back had a matching back with a story line in Swedish literature. These singles are very fragile as they are paper thin.

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The 1974 checklist has the following players in each issue.

#1 1974 = Bobby Orr, Jiri Holecek, Heikki Riihiranta, Thommie Bergman

#2 1974 = Ulf Nilsson, Vaclac Nedomansky, Valerij Charlamov, Lauri Mononen

#3 1974 = Timo Sutinen, Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Phil Esposito, Alexander Maltsev

The 1975 checklist has the following players in each issue.

#1 1975 = Bobby Hull, Veli-Pekka Ketola, Thommy Abrahamsson, Valerilj Vasiljev

#2 1975 = Seppo Lindstrom, Juha Widing, Borje Salming, Alexander Jakusjev

#3 1975 = Alexander Gusev, Lasse Oksanen, Bobby Clarke, Anders Hedberg

Each single if cut away from the page would measure about 4+1/2” Tall by 3+1/2” Wide, so these are much larger than hockey cards or any other Euro Card/Sticker out there.

Magazine size is about 9” tall by 7” wide.

Gary and I have acquired one each of the 1974 Issue #1 magazines recently for about $40 each with the Orr featured, but these treasures are way undervalued for the time being as how information was not available until now.

As you can see there are many other NHL players and national stars in the set so it is very collectible.

I personally bought a single many years ago and could never figure out exactly where it came from but I recently emailed my friend Anders in Sweden and this story came to life.

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Thanks for all the info Danny. Hope everybody enjoyed this post about a tough to find foreign Orr collectible.

See you again next week with more vintage Bobby Orr items.

Sizing Up Bobby Orr

February 17th, 2013

After close to twenty years collecting Bobby Orr memorabilia, it still amazes and excites me when I come across an item that I’ve never seen before. I’m not saying that it would be a rare item just because I haven’t seen it before. I’m sure there are other Orr collectors out there who may have it stashed away in the collections.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to comes across an item that was entirely new to me, but at the same time, it wasn’t. Confused? Let me clear it up for you.

Here is the Orr piece in question.

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This is an 18 x 24 poster that looks like it’s from around 1970. There are two Orr signatures on it. The one in the lower right hand corner is a facsimile. The one by his skates is the real deal.

I came across this when I went to visit a friend who is also an Orr collector. I immediately knew that the image looked familiar because I have it framed and hanging up on a wall. So how is it something that I’ve never seen before if I have it already? Well see for yourself.

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This is an 8 x 10 photo that I’ve had for years. I never knew that it was also made in poster size.

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Here are the two side by side. As you can see they are exactly alike except the smaller version only has the facsimile signature.

I’m not sure where this image came from. My guess is that it was a promotional item, but there is no company name anywhere on either picture. Another interesting thing about the image is that Orr is using a CCM stick rather than his usual Northland or Victoriaville.

Needless to say, I was very excited when I came across this. I told my friend that I would be interested in buying it if he ever decided he wanted to sell it. I was thrilled when he said he would sell it. I made him and offer and walked out the door with it. Many thanks to him for showing me his Orr collection and allowing me to purchase the poster.

Hoped you enjoyed this weeks Orr item. See you again next weekend when they’ll be another guest post from Orr collector extraordinaire Danny.

Sweet Dreams and Hot Chocolate with the NHLPA and Bobby Orr

February 10th, 2013

This week I have another guest blog for you from Orr collector extraordinaire Danny. Here he is in his own words.

In 1970-71 till the 1972-73 season the “National Hockey Players Association” also known as the NHLPA started getting into the thick of things in the hobby with Dads Cookies – Colgate Stamps + Heads – Eddie Sargent or Finast Photos – Post Cereal Mini Sticks, Shooters + Transfers etc…..

This week on the Blog I am featuring a few oddball items that was also released by the NHLPA.

First off we have this set of a 1971-72 NHLPA pillow cover and bed spread.

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Pillow cover is in Black print simulated auto’s while the bed spread is in Blue print simulated auto’s.

Both items have totally different players autographed on each one. Pillow case has Bobby Orr along with T.Esposito, Tallon, Binkley, Van Impe, Williams, Crozier, Bergman, Perreault, Bucyk, Dionne, Brewer, Ellis, Nevin, Gilbert, Dryden, Howell, Smith, D.Hull and Stapleton.

The Single bed spread has P.Esposito, Favell, Dudley, Hadfield, Marshall, Keon, Paimount, Mahovlich, Stanfield, B.Hull, Berenson, Maniago and Westfall.

Pillow case and Bed spread (single mattress size) are both made by “Wabasso”, imagine the sweet dreams the original owner had sleeping with these covers. I currently have the Pillow cover on the wall under a sheet of plexy glass and the Bed spread on top of a pull out couch in the Bobby Orr Room.

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The second item featured is a large “Alladin” made thermos which has a lot of the same simulated auto’s as the Pillow Cover and Bed spread but with additional different auto’s, along with Bobby Orr there are additions like Clarke, Henderson, Wall, Awrey etc….. It seems it is also 1971-72 as we know there cannot be any WHA players and Bobby Hull is present along with the Rookie Ken Dryden.

Just imagine the thermos having Hot Chocolate or hot soup along the kids bedside back in the day with matching Pillow Case and Bed covering. This would make a great collectible not only for Bobby Orr collectors but many other Hockey Super Stars.

So in conclusion, NHLPA offered many oddities in the hobby along with its main stream sets listed above, there are most likely more items out there yet to be surfaced and I have seen Pencil cases, Patches etc… but without Bobby Orr’s Photo or Auto.

Thank you Danny for sharing some great Orr collectibles as well as the information about them. Definitely looking forward to more posts from you in the future.

See you again next weekend with more Bobby Orr memorabilia.

Exporting Bobby Orr

February 3rd, 2013

For this week’s Bobby Orr item I’m going to continue something that I first featured last August in this post and also again in this one.

If you went ahead and looked, you know I’m talking about calendars. Those two are from St. Louis. This week I’ll get into the more well known Export “A” versions.

Today you’ll see a Montreal Forum version. There is also a Maple Leaf Gardens version that I’ll be showing down the road. They are both very similar in style. I should also point out that these calendars were produced every year starting in the 1940’s I believe. My focus is on the ones that Orr was featured in, which covers 1967 – 1975.

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Here is the first page, which always featured either the Canadians or Maple Leafs depending on who put it out.  You’ll see Export at the bottom. They were a tobacco producing company. Another great thing about the calendar is that it listed every NHL game for the year.

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This page showcases the award winners for the previous season, which was Orr’s rookie year. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

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This page features the first and second all star teams for the year. Orr made second team as a rookie.

Here’s a closer look at it.

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I love these pages as they also show some of the greatest players in hockey history such as Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Glenn Hall and Stan Mikita.

I suppose if I wanted to display this I could take it apart and frame the pages with Orr on them, but I honestly would never do that. For now they are in storage, but easily accessible if I ever wanted to look at them.

As I said, I have many more of these calendars and will be featuring other years in future posts.

Thanks for checking in this week. More Orr coming your way next Sunday.

Washing Cars with Bobby Orr

January 27th, 2013

If Bobby Orr owned a car wash anywhere near me you can bet your life that I would be there everyday hoping that he would be there. He did own a restaurant in Boston in the early 70’s, but I was too young to even know that.

This weeks Orr item is one that I recently won off of Ebay. It’s another Orr collectible that I have never seen before and feel fortunate that I beat out three other bidders for it, two of whom I know are big Orr collectors.

Without further ado, here it is.

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This is a 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 postcard of Orr posing in his rookie year. There’s nothing remarkable about the photo that was used. I’ve seen this same picture numerous other times in hockey magazines and programs among other things. The back of the postcard is a different story however.

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This is what got me excited about this item. This was handed out by the Birchmount Car Wash in Scarborough, Ontario. As the postcard states, Orr was apparently a special representative of the establishment. In other words, they paid him a fee in return for letting the car wash use his name and likeness to promote their business. Genius as far as I’m concerned. I wonder how many folks went their just to get the postcard.

If you’re wondering about the signature, it’s a facsimile.

I actually tried looking this place up to see if they are still in business. There was nothing for Birchmount Car Wash, but the name could have changed in the forty odd years since this was handed out to customers.

There’s no telling how many of these were produced, but this is the first that I have ever seen. My winning bid for this was $58. I’m very comfortable with that price and honestly expected it to go for much higher. A bargain as far as I’m concerned.

There you have this weeks vintage Bobby Orr item. See you again next weekend where I’ll feature another piece of memorabilia from my collection.

Lighting Fires with Bobby Orr in 1987

January 20th, 2013

I know that’s a weird title for a post, but trust me when I say that it all ties together and will make sense.

This week I have some Orr items that I recently picked up. While they are not from his playing days, they are still unique and very collectible in my opinion.

First up is the fire part.

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These are a near complete set of Liberty Collectors Club Matchbooks from 1980. They were produced locally (for me anyways) and featured various athletes from the New England area. A full set consists of 10 different colored matchbooks. Orr was number 12 in the series. Obviously whomever was in charge of the numbering screwed up by not making him number 4.

You can also see that there is writing on the back cover. It says “Bruins retired uniform #4 in ‘79. Won most all awards. Elected to H.O.F. Holds most defense records”.

I see these listed on Ebay (sometimes with the matches intact and sometimes without) for $24 to $32 apiece. Way too high in my opinion. $5 to $10 is reasonable. I won these in a lot for a total of $50 including shipping.

Next we have the 1987 portion of the title.

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From Parry Sound, Ontario, which is Orr’s hometown, their Centennial Calendar. You would think that since Orr is the most famous person ever to come out of Parry Sound he would be featured in a month. Well of course he was.

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Say hello to Mr. September. The photo they chose to use was taken during the parade on Bobby Orr day back in 1970. Very appropriate choice.

This is definitely an oddball Orr item seeing as how he is only featured on one page. I think a lot of collectors would overlook something like this, but as I’ve said before, anything with Orr in it I want for my collection.

That’s all for this week. See you again soon with another Orr item from my collection.