Score --- Number 4 -- -Bobby Orr

... it does have a certain ring to it

by Kay McCarte

Better than "Score - Number 7 - Phil Esposito," or "Number 9 - Johnny Bucyk."

It's hard to believe that Bobby Orr is now 66 and has written a book, "Orr, My Story." I haven't read it yet, but I will. In the meantime memories of watching one of the most amazing hockey players have come flooding back.

The first time we saw him was at a game between the farm teams, the Oshawa Generals and the Niagara Flyers. Bobby played for Oshawa and his soon-to-be teammate, Derek Sanderson, played for Niagara. Both ended up being great players for the Boston Bruins.

But Bobby was magical. He played defense and, at that time, defensemen very rarely left their zone -- their job was to protect the goalie and not allow the other team to score. Enter Bobby Orr. He not only left the defensive zone, he took the puck into the opposing zone and many times he scored. "Score - Number 4 - Bobby Orr!"

How we loved seeing him pause behind his own net, take stock of all the players in front of him, decide whether to pass the puck unerringly to one of his forwards or fly down the ice avoiding the opposing players trying to stop him, protecting the puck, and, then making a move to draw the goalie out of position he would deposit the puck into the net. "Score - Number 4 - Bobby Orr!"

One of my special memories was after a Saturday afternoon game. We decided to go to dinner at the Branding Iron, a restaurant in Charles River Park in which Bobby was part owner. We knew some of the players often went there after games. There were several large booths and, as there were eight of us, they seated us in one of them. On the table was a card advertising the Branding Iron with a drawing of Bobby Orr.

We were thrilled when several of the Bruins players, including Bobby, came in and were seated in the next booth to ours. We asked the waiter if he could get us all cards and would he ask Bobby to sign them for us. He said, "Sure," and took the cards over to Bobby and told him we would
like his autograph. He smiled over at us, took the cards and started writing. On finishing the first one he passed it to the player sitting next to him saying, "They don't just want mine, they want all of ours."

So we all got cards signed by all the players. I'm sure I haven't thrown it out, but I can't find mine anywhere I have looked, so, maybe in a fit of cleaning (I don't have them too often) I threw it out.

Another special memory was after Bobby flew through the air after scoring the goal that won the Stanley Cup -- one of my friends presented me with the poster memorializing that fantastic moment. That summer we had a young man working in our office. In the course of our conversations he found out I liked hockey and he told us he was friends with Bobby's sons. "It's strange," he said, "to be sitting in the same room with the man doing the commercial for Baybank on TV."

Of course my antenna went up and I asked him if he thought Bobby would sign my poster for me. He did not even hesitate and told me Bobby would be glad to sign it. He took my poster and I now am the proud possessor of a poster signed by the one, the only, Bobby Orr.

November 1, 2013

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