23 Bobby Orr Hockey Cards You Need To Own
Ask any collector and he’ll tell you that Bobby Orr hockey cards are some of the most sought after in the hobby.
Bruins fans love him.
Hockey fans love him.
Orr goes down in history as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
In his first year in the NHL, Orr was named rookie of the year and given the Calder Trophy. It was the first of many titles that Bobby would collect, including 8 consecutive seasons of winning the Norris Trophy for being the best defenseman.
He also helped the Bruins to win the Stanley cup both in 1970 and 1972 to cap off a fine career.
For fans and collectors, the following is a list of the best 23 Bobby Orr hockey cards that money can buy.
1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card
The 1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr rookie hockey card is his only rookie card and one of the most recognizable in the hobby. It was a huge first season for Orr, leaving him with a Calder trophy and ever-growing fame. The young defenseman was already turning heads with his ability to score goals and win fights. While the Bruins did poorly that season, Bobby had the best year of any rookie up to that time. The card itself is hard to find in good quality because of the brown border that is so badly prone to chipping. Centering issues also exist in that set, so be sure to note if there is some space between his name and the bottom of the card. A mint condition specimen of this card can cost a whopping $110,000! Even mid quality #35 cards may eat into your savings, generally costing more than $2000.
1967 Topps #92
In his second season of professional hockey, Bobby Orr would be chosen to play on the NHL All-Star team. It would be the first of 8 consecutive seasons that Orr would make the team, sealing him as one of the greats. The 1967 Bobby Orr card features a cutout, posed photo of Bobby with a cartoon back drop of an audience in the hockey stands. Top quality versions of this card can go for $2500, but don’t worry, you can get your hands on a decent copy for about $300.
1968 O-Pee-Chee #2
By ‘68 the Bruins had become quite attached to their new star player. The back of this card features a small cartoon with a tied up Orr and the words, “Property of Boston, do not remove!”, written on a tag. Underneath it goes on to state that the Bruins would rather trade Boston Gardens than Bobby. Mint copies of this card can reach $8500, but you can get good quality versions for about $300 online.
1968 Topps #2
In 1968 Orr would win the first of 8 Norris Trophies for his excellent performance as a defenseman. Part of what made Orr special was the way that he was able to succeed as a defense player while still being a real threat offensively. 1968 would also be the year that Topps would release a set to American buyers as hockey gained fans south of the Canadian border. The set was smaller than the O-Pee-Chee set released in Canada, however all of the cards that it did feature were identical to the larger set. Mint Orr cards from Topps go for about $4000. If you compromise a bit in quality you can easily score one of these cards for under $100.
1969 O-Pee-Chee #24
Orr spent a lot of ‘69 in pain. He had to sit out the entire preseason due to a bone chip on his knee that had happened the previous season. His knee would continue to plague him throughout his career. Bobby also had a feud brewing with the Maple Leafs’ Pat Quinn. The second time they met on the ice, Quinn elbowed Orr in the head rendering him unconscious. The fans were so upset that they heaved garbage onto the rink when Quinn came out of the penalty box.
1969 Topps #24
This card, virtually identical to its O-Pee-Chee counterpart, features a posed headshot of Bobby looking past the camera with a smile on his face. A cartoon hockey stick leans on the photo, with Bobby’s name and team written below. His position can be found in a small red circle on the bottom right corner. The team’s logo is found at the top of the full-color photo. These cards range in price from under $50 to well over $1000 depending on what kind of quality you are looking for.
1970 O-Pee-Chee #3
This card commemorates the year that Bobby Orr would score the most memorable goal of his career, winning the Stanley Cup for the Bruins. It would be the first time that Boston would win the trophy in 29 years. It was during overtime in the fourth game that Bobby would seal the deal and officially defeat the Saint Louis Blues. After scoring, he tripped and flew quite wildly past the net. The image was caught on camera and is a well known shot in hockey history.
1970 Topps #3
The 1970 Topps card showcasing Bobby Orr featured a cutout photo of Bobby on the ice over a bright red background with soft white dots. His name is under the photo in a thick, red font. The back of the card brags that Bobby had won more trophies in his first four seasons than most players win in a lifetime. His stats and place of birth are also found on the green, grey and yellow card back. While there are many affordable versions of this card, high quality specimens sell for almost $1000!
1971 O-Pee-Chee #100
This set from O-Pee-Chee is the most valuable from the entire decade of the seventies. Bobby Orr is a notable collector’s favorite from the collection. These cards are notorious for their jagged edges from initial bad cutting. There are also many that contain gum stains on their backs. Regardless of this, the funky bubble letters and oval background make this specific design one of the greats.
1971 Topps #100
The Bruins found themselves on the path to the Stanley Cup once again, making it into the playoffs. This time the Montreal Canadians were waiting for them, and took them out in the very first round. Bobby scored over 100 points that year, for which he was given a solid gold puck to honor his accomplishments. He set records that have lasted to this day for his outstanding score totals as a defenseman.
1972 O-Pee-Chee #129
The 1972 season would be another amazing one for Bobby Orr. He would win both the Norris and the Hart trophies. The Bruins once again found themselves on the way to the Stanley Cup, and this time it would be theirs. Orr was the one to officially win the championship, beating the New York Rangers. He would win yet another trophy, the Conne Smythe trophy, for his performance in the playoffs.
1972 Topps #100
Bobby Orr would sign the NHL’s first million dollar contract, although poor management lead to him not being able to access much of the money that was entitled to him. This incident was one of many that would lead Orr to help guide young hockey players through the management world in the years after his retirement. The Topps Bobby Orr card features some facts about Orr and his NHL record on the back. The card claims that Orr was “Mr. Everything”, due to his MVP status over the previous three seasons. A small cartoon highlights that Bobby liked to go fishing in his spare time. Copies of this card regularly go for under $300, making this one an easy card to add to your collection from a record breaking year for Orr.
1973 O-Pee-Chee #30
Due to some major changes in the Bruins management and ownership, the team had a less than memorable year. Bobby did well during the regular season but as the team didn’t make it passed the first round of the playoffs, he was unable to make much of an impact in the postseason. Despite the flop of a year, Bobby still managed to be picked for the NHL All-Star team.
1973 Topps #150
This card features an action shot of Orr on the ice in a crest-shaped frame. The top of the card boasts his All-Star status for the ‘72-’73 hockey season. The edge of the card has a bright green border, which may not be kind to any signs of aging or wear and tear. His position, name and team are spread across the bottom of the card. The back of the card commemorated a milestone in Bobby’s personal life, stating that Bobby had married a school teacher during the summer of that year.
1974 O-Pee-Chee #100
The Bruins regained their footing in the 1974 season. They finished first overall for their regular season performance and continued all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. This time they were against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers would take the win, having a star-packed line up to go up against Orr. Bobby set the record that year for most points won in a game by a defenseman.
1974 Topps #100
Topps had decided to go with posed shots for their 1974 card design. Bobby stands in front of a greenish backdrop, crouched in a traditional pose holding his stick. The photo has a thin, black line for a border. A hockey stick is cleverly worked into the background of the card on the left hand side. The bottom of the card features the Bruins’ logo and Bobby’s name and position.
1975 O-Pee-Chee #100
The Bruins would not make it far in the playoffs during the 1975 season, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the very first round. Bobby, however, had a spectacular season, beating many of his personal bests and winning the Art Ross Trophy once again for top points scored in the league. He also lead the league in assists that year, for the fifth time in a row. It would be the last year that Orr would be selected for the All-Star NHL team.
1975 Topps #100
The set from 1975 really stands out compared to previous years. Topps used brighter colors against a plain white background and the action shot photos were extremely vivid. Mint versions of Bobby’s standard card can go for up to $2500, although you can definitely score more affordable options if you downgrade in quality a bit. The set really honored Orr, giving him spots on five different pasteboards, although his regular #100 card is considered the most valuable.
1976 O-Pee-Chee #213
Bobby’s knee was shot, and everyone could see the end in sight. These health complications prompted Bobby to end his career with the Bruins and instead he signed on with the Chicago Blackhawks. Years later he would go on to learn of offers from the Bruins that his manager had not disclosed to him. His manager had ties to Chicago and pushed Bobby there, betraying his trust.
1976 Topps #213
Orr greatly wished to play in the Canadian Cup of 1976. Chicago allowed him to do so, despite obvious hesitation from Bobby’s manager. His knee held up through the tournament and it was an experience Bobby said he wouldn’t have traded for the world. His outstanding performance earned him both the All-Star and MVP title for the tournament. People who witnessed him through those games noted he could barely move before and after each game, but he gave everything he had while on the ice.
1977 O-Pee-Chee #251
Bobby was unable to play at all during the ‘77 season. Because he wasn’t playing, he refused to cash any of his paychecks as he felt it wasn’t right to do so if he wasn’t contributing to the team. He forfeited his entire 3 million dollar contract because of this moral stance, not feeling that he deserved the money.
1977 Topps #251
This card features a close-up candid shot of Orr on the sidelines, where he would spend the majority of his season. The Blackhawks’ logo and name are written under the photo, with Bobby’s name and position in smaller font directly above. Most of the cards from the ‘77 set have great action shots from actual games, but Bobby was no longer a part of that world. This card generally sells for under $100, making it an easy one to get your hands on.
1978 O-Pee-Chee #300
Bobby’s last card is one worth remembering. O-Pee-Chee honored him with a special collector’s card that has vivid colors surrounding a photo of Orr on the bench. The shot is from his time playing on the Canada Cup, and no team is referenced on the card. His autograph trails across the photo in white. A definite finale to any Orr collection, mint versions can sell for around $1000.
Bobby Orr Hockey Cards Wrap-Up
Bobby’s time on the ice overlapped with many other hockey greats, but he still shines as one to remember. When he finally had to retire due to serious knee problems, he was quickly inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the very next season. To this day he is still the only defenseman to have won the Art Ross Trophy for scoring. He has multiple buildings names in his honor and his own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto. The Bruins erected a bronze statue to thank Bobby for his decade of contributions to the team.
Bogged down with surgeries and limited mobility, Bobby called it quits in 1978. He was only 30 at the time, but recovery was not in the cards. At 31 he was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame even though the general three year waiting period had not yet passed. In a sport where forwards shine, Bobby is always remembered for his incredible value offensively even though he was a defenseman. Boston retired his number 4 at a celebration where fans would overwhelm Bobby with cheers lasting for hours. January 9th was proclaimed “Bobby Orr Day”.
While Bobby had some financial troubles due to his mismanagement by Alan Eagleson (who was later disbarred) he ended up doing alright for himself, starting an agency to help hockey players make good deals and not end up in the situation he found himself in. Orr lives happily now as a grandparent, and stays out of the limelight as much as he can.
Bobby is both a legendary sports hero and a humble, decent human being. Why not embark on the collection of a lifetime, honoring a man who is undoubtedly one of hockey’s all-time bests. I can assure you, the more you learn about Bobby, the more you’ll love the guy, too.