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.