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Orr: My Story [Hardcover]

Bobby Orr
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2013
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, this 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.

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Review

“A reflection on the nostalgia of playing hockey on frozen ponds growing up in Parry Sound, Ontario, the physical and emotional pain of knee injuries that cut his career short, and the off-ice struggles that the legendary Boston Bruins defenceman hasn’t talked much about … A how-to book by a grandparent about how parents, coaches, and children should approach the sport.” - The Canadian Press

“A must-read for anyone who fondly remembers the glory years of the Big Bad Bruins … Read Orr. It’s like reminiscing with an old friend.” - The Sun Chronicle

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 NHL’s best defenseman and three consecutive Hart Trophies as the league’s 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Bit Too Modest Nov. 15 2013
By Lava1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me start by emphasizing that Bobby Orr is my favourite athlete of all time. As other reviewers have noted, he is class personified. I have never heard anyone legitimately say anything bad about him. Orr handles his ongoing fame with exceptional grace. He is modest about his many accomplishments to a fault. In fact he is too modest. That's why I only give this book three stars. I was hoping Bobby would discuss in details each of his seasons in the NHL, but this book barely skims through his fabulous career. There's is no deep examination of Bobby's 1969-70 season--one of the great campaigns ever recorded in the NHL. There's no mention of the season when his plus/minus was a staggering +124. He conveniently neglects to discuss his two scoring titles, his eight Norris Trophies, his two Conn Smythe Trophies, his three NHL MVP awards, and his Canada Cup MVP. Instead, in typical Bobby Orr fashion, he spends most of his book praising his parents, his coaches, his teammates, the fans...anyone but himself. Because of this I found his autobiography disappointing. Stephen Brunt's book, Searching For Bobby Orr, is a better and more thorough examination of the great number four.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Dec 3 2013
By Sears Braithwaite (of Bullard) TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like Lava1964, Orr has always been to me the greatest player, but I have to agree with Lava's review. The book is often superficial, almost coming across as one of those celebrity books--lots of praise and love (but of course no dirt--this is Bobby Orr!). And a lot of life-lesson stuff. I wasn't looking for any of that. I guess I was hoping for something more along the lines of The Game, but Orr is simply not built that way. By nature Ken Dryden is a far more reflective man, and a bit of a poet. He brought his time in hockey to life. Bobby, on the other hand, glides over his.

Just one example: they both go over their formative years. Dryden wrote memorably about how important the driveway/rear area of his family home was to his development, and his childhood. He went into some wonderful detail there. Any Canadian kid could relate instantly. Orr likewise emphasizes how important playing shinny on the bay with his friends was--he learned to stickhandle through ten opponents, and we all know what that led to. But otherwise no real description of those long days on the ice, the other kids, how they organized themselves, and all the stories that would come out of that. Yet there is also a touching moment late in the book where Bobby writes, almost it seems as an after thought, that those games were, out of all the hockey in his life, the hockey he loved the most.

This book has sparked a fantasy for me: Orr is somehow kidnapped by a powerful publishing group and locked away in a cabin in the Rockies for a whole winter with Ken Dryden and Roy MacGregor (I would say Jack Falla, too, but that alas is no longer possible) and forced to co-author his real hockey autobiography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book from a Classy Individual Jan. 10 2014
Format:Hardcover
This book is not going to garner for Mr. Orr an award for outstanding literature because an professional author is not what he is. Instead, Bobby is a former hockey player, a jock telling his life story and he does an outstanding job with simple language in a well considered, properly laid out manner. Though not an academic, Bobby's intelligence and street smarts, learned through decades of life experience, to say nothing of a loving family, come through crystal clear. It must be an onerous task to write an autobiography while having little inclination to toot one's horn or appear to be boastful in any way but Orr manages it admirably. What he demostrates convincingly is his class, dignity and humility, which was my personal impression upon meeting him a couple of times. Other than a brief chapter relating to Alan Eagleson, the disraced former head of the player's union who went to prison for embezzling his clients, including Orr, that really had to be told, there's little or not dirt, slagging of the people he met during his life. He tells readers about not bothering to look for 'juicy', hurtful gossip there and good for him. It is not, in other words 'Son of Ball Four.' I would highly recommend this one to friends. Congratulations on a fine effort, Mr. Orr; be quite proud of what you have written.

I've read many biographies pertaining to athletes and cannot bear the ones that merely regurgitate the season-by-season retelling of information that can mostly be gleaned from reference books for of statistics. This is not one of those.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for Hockey Fans Jan. 10 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My daughter read this book in no time as she found it fascinating. Even people who aren't that interested in hockey have enjoyed this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading Jan. 6 2014
By Howard
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
it is about Bobby Orr. What else need be said.
He is one of the few "CLASS ACTS" regarding professional athletes.
A great example of respecting the general public, and a great example for the younger crowd, to admire.
Next in line ... Wayne Gretsky.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gifted Book Jan. 1 2014
By Pearlsy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This Bobby Orr book was purchased as a Christmas gift to my husband.
He thoroughly enjoyed it and recommends it to anyone, even those not interested in hockey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Written from the Heart Jan. 1 2014
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
While I am not a great fan of professional hockey, I did grow up in Bobby Orr's era and was fully aware of the tremendous impact he had on the sport as it modernized in the 1970s. Reading this well-written autobiography brings it all back for me in a flash: Orr was one of those small-town, down-home talented boys who naively rode his dream to the top only to learn that it was all a sorry illusion. Lots of those around during this time who, when they hung up their skates for good, had to go out and remake their lives all over again, some more successfully than others. Thankfully, Orr, a brilliant player, was able to recover from debilitating health issues, bad financial advice, and poor personal choices to become a true role model for young people entering the sport today. This story is not so much about the game on the ice as the bigger game away from the arena. The reader gets to see what truly brought Orr, that undersized defenceman from the Ontario Hockey League, to the peak of his game as a star for the Boston Bruins only to have it crash on him in retirement and force him to go out to remake his life. This book is loaded with incredible anecdotes about how he learned to play the game, friendships he made along the way, and lessons learned in the rough and tumble of the sport. The sections dealing with his ties with his father, various coaches, Don Cherry and Alan Eagleson are especially poignant in what they say about what makes or does not make for a quality relationship. Life for Orr comes down to working hard at what you are good at and treating others decently. In this narrative, reliving the moment definitely takes second place to something much bigger: the importance of emphasizing values like loyalty, effort, compassion and honesty as the means to becoming a better person.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story told by a player I still consider to ...
Good story told by a player I still consider to be the very best hockey player ever. Some insights divulged about some of the good and not so good things that happened to him... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Joanne Janveau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thanks
Published 11 days ago by John B. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So good to read about Bobby Orr. He comes from the same town I live in--Parry Sound.
Published 15 days ago by Robert Allcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Another score for Orr
Really loving the book. This is not about his accomplishment. It's more about his perspective and relationships. big fan of #4.
Published 24 days ago by wat.cowboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased. Arrived in good condition
Very pleased. Arrived in good condition.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Annette McNeill
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read!
Published 1 month ago by JP
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay but not as good as I expected
For Bobby Orr I was expecting an ace book. It was okay but not as good as I expected.
Published 1 month ago by George
3.0 out of 5 stars I came to love hockey while watching the likes of Steve Yzerman
I thought this was somewhat of a disappointing book. Having grown up in the era after Bobby Orr, I came to love hockey while watching the likes of Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JD
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentleman Bobby
My wife knew Bobby as a skinny 15 year old playing in the OHL and I followed his career on Saturday Night Hockey during the NHL 6 team era. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mine reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome story
Published 2 months ago by Gary Long
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