TORONTO – Bobby Orr’s rookie jersey is going, going, gone?sold for US$191,200 to an unnamed buyer at an auction in Dallas on Friday.
The sweater is one of only two known to exist from Orr’s 1966-67 season with the Boston Bruins.
Orr, a native of Parry Sound, Ont., is remembered as one of the NHL’s greatest players of all time?his many accomplishments include two Stanley Cups with the Bruins and eight consecutive Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenceman.
It was hoped that the jersey would fetch at least $100,000 at auction.
The famed No. 4 jersey?mostly white with black and gold trim?was thought to be especially prized by collectors since it shows plenty of wear and tear, including marks left by sticks and repairs of holes in the fabric.
“If ever there was such a thing, then this jersey is indeed the Holy Grail of hockey collectibles,” said Chris Ivy of Heritage Sports Auctions. “It’s as much about the $191,200 final price as it is about Orr’s place as one of the most beloved NHL players in the history of the sport.”
The jersey had belonged to John Rows, 57, of the eastern Ontario city of Kingston.
Rows got the jersey about 40 years ago from his uncle, Garry Young, who was chief scout for the Bruins.
Rows said in an interview earlier this month that he was offered $1,000 for the jersey when he first got it back in the late 1960s but turned it down.
The No. 4 on the jersey was retired by the Bruins in a raucous ceremony in January 1979, just months after Orr’s damaged knees made further play impossible.