Synopses & Reviews
One of the greatest sports figures of all time at last breaks his silence in a memoir as unique as the man himself.
Number 4. It is just about the most common number in hockey, but invoke that number and you can only be talking about one player -- the man often referred to as the greatest ever to play the game: Bobby Orr.
From 1966 through the mid-70s he could change a game just by stepping on the ice. Orr could do things that others simply couldn't, and while teammates and opponents alike scrambled to keep up, at times they could do little more than stop and watch. Many of his records still stand today and he remains the gold standard by which all other players are judged. Mention his name to any hockey fan or to anyone in New England and a look of awe will appear.
But skill on the ice is only a part of his story. All of the trophies, records, and press clippings leave unsaid as much about the man as they reveal. They tell us what Orr did, but don't tell us what inspired him, who taught him, or what he learned along the way. They don't tell what it was like for a shy small-town kid to become one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of the game, all the while in the full glare of the media. They don't tell us what it was like when the agent he regarded as his brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin, at the same time his battered knee left him unable to play the game he himself had redefined only a few seasons earlier. They don't tell about the players and people he learned to most admire along the way. They don't tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today.
Orr himself has never put all this into words, until now. After decades of refusing to speak of his past in articles or authorized” biographies, he finally tells his story, because he has something to share: I am a parent and a grandparent and I believe that I have lessons worth passing along.”
In the end, Orr: My Story is not just a book about hockey. The most meaningful biographies and memoirs rise above the careers out of which they grew. Bobby Orr's life goes far deeper than Stanley Cup rings, trophies and recognitions. His story is not only about the game, but also the age in which it was played. It's the story of a small-town kid who came to define its highs and lows, and inevitably it is a story of the lessons he learned along the way.
"One of Boston's most beloved athletes tells his life story. Orr heads the extremely short list of athletes never booed in Boston, a city notorious for turning on even its greatest stars. During a brilliant career with the Bruins, cruelly cut short by injuries, he won every award hockey had to offer and retired as the greatest defenseman ever to play. If anything, he's even more cherished now, more than 30 years later, for his modesty, courtesy and many charitable endeavors. This autobiography, by no means a tell-all, does nothing to disturb his gentlemanly image. The wonder here is that the famously reticent Orr has chosen to tell anything. He has harsh words only for his former agent Alan Eagleson, who bilked him of all the money he made in hockey, for out-of-control youth coaches and for pushy parents who rob children of the simple fun of playing the game. Otherwise, Orr has nothing but good to say about his parents, siblings, neighbors and coaches who taught him respect and responsibility as a youth in Canada; about his teammates, especially players like Johnny Bucyk, Terry O'Reilly, Derek Sanderson, Phil Esposito and general manager Milt Schmidt, to whom he attributes a lot of his pro success; about opponents he admired like Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, Jean Béliveau, Yvan Cournoyer, Bobby Clarke and, especially, Gordie Howe, Orr's candidate for the best player ever. Orr speaks glowingly of athletes and celebrities he's met and admired, including Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Michael J. Fox and Ted Williams, and he devotes an entire chapter to his long friendship with former coach and Canadian icon Don Cherry. Orr skips lightly over his own on-ice achievements, dwelling only on the hard work and practice it took to become Bobby Orr, his abiding passion for hockey (including some observations on the state of today's game) and his love for the small town of his boyhood and the big city where he became a legend. Strictly for fans of the hockey great." Kirkus Reviews
"I've seen all the greats since the 1920s, and I've never seen a player with the skills of Orr." Clarence Campbell, former NHL president
"I never knew a single player who could lift a team as Orr could." Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks
"[Orr] wrote the book...as if he were coaching both his sport and society, delivering lessons in honor and responsibility while he examines hockey at its best and worst." The Boston Globe
"A gripping personal record: tracing the arc from stunning rookie phenom to defeated hero. The story is moving. Its a book that devotees of sport have to have on their bookshelves." Winnipeg Free Press
The NHL legend tells his story from his Ontario childhood to his years with the Bruins and Blackhawks, to today. New York Times
Bobby Orr is often referred to as the greatest defenseman ever to play the game of hockey. But all the brilliant achievements leave unsaid as much as they reveal. They dont tell what inspired Orr, what drove him, what it was like for a shy small-town kid to suddenly land in the full glare of the media. They dont tell what it was like when the agent he regarded as a brother betrayed him and left him in financial ruin. They dont tell what he thinks of the game of hockey today.
Now he breaks his silence in a memoir as unique as the man himself...
About the Author
Bobby Orr, born in Parry Sound, Ontario, in 1948, played for the Boston Bruins from 1966 through 1976, and helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 1970 and 1972, and to the finals in 1974. He also played two years for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players maybe the greatest hockey player of all time. His speed and scoring and playmaking abilities revolutionized the position of defenseman. As of this date, he remains the only defenseman to have won the Art Ross Trophy league scoring title twice and still holds the record for most points and assists at that position. Orr won a record eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the NHLs best defenseman and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the leagues MVP, as well as two Conn Smythe Trophies as the Stanley Cup MVP. He is the only player in history to have won the Ross, Norris, Hart, and Conn Smythe Trophies in a single season. He was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame at the age of 31 the youngest living player to receive that honor.
After his retirement in 1978, Orr was active with business and charitable works, and in 1996, Orr entered the player agent business, and today is president of the Orr Hockey Group agency. He has been invested with the Order of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in 2010 was one of eight athletes who bore the Olympic flag out during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics. The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is in Parry Sound, Ontario.