Historic Bobby Orr jersey passes $34,000 in online auction


Few ice hockey players are spoken about with as much reverence as Bobby Orr. The former Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks defenceman is remembered as one of the all-time greats, a Hall-of-Famer whose career saw him achieve numerous records and awards.

It should be no surprise to hockey fans and collectors that his memorabilia is sought after. Indeed, many of them are probably amongst the bidders currently battling it out over a very special jersey.

The ice hockey memorabilia specialists Classic Auctions are offering Orr's shirt from the 1976 Canada Cup, during which he picked up a winner's medal and was named the tournament's MVP.

He was part of a Canadian team still regarded as perhaps the greatest ever assembled, and with approximately half the country's population watching the final against Czechoslovakia the victory is part of Canadian cultural heritage.

Bobby Orr's jersey from the 1976 Canada Cup final

After the final he swapped shirts with his opposing Number 4 defenceman Oldrich Machac, himself a member of the IIHF Hall of Fame. Machac sadly died earlier this year, and the shirt is being sold by family members as part of his estate.

As of Friday October 21 the shirt had attracted bids up to $34,529, and with 11 days left of the sale the expectations are high.

In recent years, historic ice hockey memorabilia has been playing catch-up on the markets compared to other sports such as baseball and basketball.

However, the interest of many collectors was piqued last year when the Canadian jersey worn by Paul Henderson in the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union was sold by Classic Auctions for a World Record price of $1,275,707.

As with any area of collectibles, when an item reaches seven figures people really start to take notice.

Although experts aren't expecting the Orr jersey to reach the same heights as Henderson's, there's no denying that the value of ice hockey memorabilia is starting to rise. And for dedicated fans, there's nothing like owning a piece of your country's sporting (and cultural) history, whatever the price.

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