Orr: My Story

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Orr: My Story

by Bobby Orr

Penguin Group Canada | October 15, 2013 | Hardcover

Orr: My Story is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 10.

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670066974

ISBN - 13: 9780670066971

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Bobby Orr With a Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadians National Hockey League (NHL) playoff round on the horizon, why not read Bobby Orr's book now? His book offers a fitting backdrop to their fierce rivalry. I was born at the right time for full Bobby Orr fan appreciation. I was eight years old in 1970 when he scored the goal captured forever in the famous photograph on the cover of his book. In the years that followed I cheered for him and Boston against my least favourite team at the time—those Montreal Canadians. My memories of that time and the similarities in our small-town Ontario upbringing meant I settled into Orr's book with a comfortable sense of nostalgia. His recollections of his childhood carried me right back in time to my youth. I smiled thinking about skating—in hand-me-down skates—outside for hours and hours until my toes ached in the cold. I remembered the free-spirited play of children at the time. "In those days," Orr wrote, "we rarely waited for an adult to organize our social time or sports experiences. We took that upon ourselves. We were the ones who decided which game to play, where to play it, when to assemble, and who would be on whose team." "I can remember my absolute joy when I received my very first pair of new skates." up to that point - hand-me-down or bought second hand. Yes, one of the greatest learned on used skates." If you're looking for shocking new insights, late-life confessions or gossip about former teammates, you won't find it in this book. Even Alan Eagleson gets a fairer shake than he deserved. I admit that Bobby Orr has a challenge in finding something new from his well-documented life to share with an audience, but I think he could have revealed himself to readers a little more. He writes: "I'm no different than anyone else—there are things I did at certain times during my career that I am not particularly proud of. Some of those things happened on the ice, some off it." That's like a friend whispering to you that they have a secret, but then refusing to tell it. What weren't you proud of, Bobby Orr? We want to know. So, no skulduggery, just a life story told with charming simplicity. He writes of his family life in Parry Sound and his first jobs: picking dew worms for bait, selling men's wear and doing custodial work at an elementary school. He describes his early hockey years in Oshawa and his NHL career where he played the game with the puck on his stick as often as possible. He offers advice to young players contemplating a career in professional hockey: "Any skill or skill set is the result of a combination of a couple of things. First, you must have an ability to do it, and second, you must have a willingness to pay the price to perfect it." He counsels the parents of those players to not try to live their lives through the child's success because it never works: "I was shaped by my own passion." He offers his insights into the game, past and present. He remembers a time when coaches "acted like gentlemen as they were leading the team, and they encouraged players to act appropriately, both on and off the ice." Orr received some writing support from Vern Stenlund, but Stenlund says: "The words and thoughts in this book are all Bobby's, from start to finish." It's Bobby's voice all right, and Stenlund drew out stories and memories from him, but in some cases the story telling could have been stronger. Several times Orr describes occasions as ". . . a very special evening indeed" without detail or explanations about what made it special. What made it special, Bobby Orr? We want to know. Bobby Orr's shy, humble personality shines through his story and solidifies my respect for him as a person and a player. He is a naturally gifted athlete who believes that ". . . sports are not there for the gifted. They're there for everyone." He's an NHL all-time-great who learned to skate on used skates and played baseball in the summer. He's a human being who trusted and got burnt and who picked himself up and carried on. "The important things in life don't change when your luck turns against you, and those things are no different for celebrities than they are for anyone else. No one is going to succeed without taking their lumps. No one is going to succeed on their own either—what sometimes looks like an individual accomplishment is always the result of a team effort. And when you get knocked down, there really is only one thing to do." (For more on Bobby Orr, please read Searching for Bobby Orr by Stephen Brunt. Or anything by Stephen Brunt, for that matter.)
Date published: 2014-04-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy read An easy biography to get through.  Gives a clean and simple overview of Orr's life in hockey.  Memorable parts were the dealings with Eagleson and relationship with Don Cherry.  Certainly the book talked about hockey but also the life lessons that Orr lived by.  Underlying tone of a great hockey player who seems to go out of his way to deflect any and all accolades about himself
Date published: 2014-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a true hockey legend My husband was always a huge Bobby Orr fan and as a young boy was able to attend one of Bobby Orr's hockey camps. When my husband played minor hockey he proudly wore #4. One of his prized possessions is a photo of him with Bobby taken when he was at the hockey camp. I gave him the book for Christmas. He has not read it yet but I am sure he will be thrilled with it when he does. I plan to read it as well
Date published: 2014-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bobby Orr I think this book is a must read for all parents who are trying  [or have ]  their kids in competitive hockey. Too bad they can't play for fun and for the love of the game.
Date published: 2014-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unfinished but still worth reading I was never a huge Bobby Orr fan but I do acknowledge that he was the greatest player of all time and I am glad I was alive to see him play. And so, I was hoping to learn a lot more about Orr and his time in the NHL than is written. This book seems like it's just part one to me. I realize that any celebrity, athlete or other famous person has had enough experiences to fill encyclopedias and it can't all be put down on paper but some of those other experiences need to be told to let the reader experience what it was like to be Bobby Orr. For example, Orr doesn't relate what it was like on and off the ice with his Bruin teammates and how he got along with them. A lot of funny stories from these times would have helped to lighten the mood of the book because it is a very serious book to read. He barely mentions his wife or family so I have no idea when he got married or how old he was at the time or how those new responsibilities affected his career or life. There are photos of xrays of his old and new knees but this is never mentioned in the book so I also don't know if he is still in pain or can now walk better or if he can even skate anymore. When I finished the book, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions about Bobby Orr. His experiences as a child were written in great detail and were interesting but the detail seemed to disappear once he entered the NHL and those are the times that we fans really want to know about. I hope this was only part one and part two will be published soon!
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Was Just OK For me, this was a slow moving book and not what I was expecting. Lots of comparisons of hockey between then and now.
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A must for all hockey fans! Just finished and a must read for all hockey fans or people who want to read the story of a role model who is also a good man.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy Read I pre-ordered this book as I have been a fan of Bobby Orr since he began playing hockey for the Bruins. This is a straight-forward no-nonsense account by a humble man. It's his story, more about his life than hockey although hockey is wound into each part. Congratulations to him for standing up for his own beliefs and principles.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring Read This book did not change my thoughts on Bobby Orr. He was a great hockey player to watch and he seems to be a fine person with many good characteristics. The book is earnest with lots of good life experience advice, however it is a very boring read that reveals little else about the author or the supporting characters in his life.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read by one of hockey's most famous and respected player. An excellent book by a player who revolutionized the game particularly from the defence position. A good read of how he developed his passion for the game of hockey and overcame the numerous obstacles that he encountered in his career. He also has some good insights in how the game is played today and suggests some noteworthy improvements in both the playing and teaching the modern game.
Date published: 2014-02-02

– More About This Product –

Orr: My Story

by Bobby Orr

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0670066974

ISBN - 13: 9780670066971

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Bobby Orr was born in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada on March 20, 1948. He played hockey for the Boston Bruins from 1966 to 1976, and helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 1970 and 1972. He won the Art Ross Trophy league scoring title twice and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He 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. In 2010, he was one of eight athletes who carried the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics. His books include Bobby Orr: My Game and Orr: My Story.

Editorial Reviews

"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
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