1966-67 Boston Bruins Bobby Orr Rookie Jersey
Rich Ellis, CEO of Dropthepucks.com and the Spirit of the Game researched the jersey. Rich used programs, books, team photos, the Internet, hockey cards, and his vast knowledge of 30+ years in game worn hockey jerseys. A special thank you for research assistance goes to the guys at Hockeydb.com, The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, collectors Kevin Fox, Jim Dick, Raifie Bass and Stuart Oxenhorn for their support.
Bobby Orr revolutionized the sport of hockey with his scoring and playmaking abilities. In 1966-67 Bobby Orr had a significant first season. He won the Calder Trophy as the best rookie and also made the NHL's Second All-Star Team. He was second in the league in scoring by defensemen and was a plus 30. Not only did he score and pass, he could play a physical game and fought when needed. In his first National Hockey League game against the Detroit Red Wings and Gordie Howe, 18-year-old Orr impressed the Boston crowd and the many reporters with his defensive abilities. He blocked shots, made checks and moved opposing players away from the net. He also recorded his first point - an assist. For a very short time period during the pre-season of 1966-67 season Orr wore #27 then switched to #4 after respectfully turning down an offer to wear Dit Clapper’s “5”. Orr wore # 27 for 8 pre-season games before switching to #4 for the last 2 pre-season games. Many consider Bobby Orr to be the greatest player ever to lace on a pair of skates. Bobby Orr was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.
The tight fisted Boston club was known for recycling their clubs jerseys throughout the years and as far into the middle 80's. Research shows that the Boston Club had a pattern of using a single season set for two years, then hand them down to their Junior "A" affiliate the Niagara-falls Flyers of the OHA, and other various affiliated teams during the 1960's and the early 70's. After the 1966-67 season the Bruins opted to go with a new look and went to the tie down style that was worn for both of their Stanley Cup wins in 1970 and 1972. In October of 2004, a home 1973-74 Photo Matched Boston Bruins Bobby Orr game used jersey brought in a whopping $135,380.00 at auction, which to date is the single highest purchase price paid for a game worn hockey jersey. It is likely that this is Bobby Orr's only white jersey from 66-67 in existence.
This is Bobby Orr's rookie jersey and is one of the most significant game used jerseys ever to be offered.
A brief history of Bruins Jerseys from 1949-50 to 1966-67
The Boston Bruins wore a style similar to this jersey from 1949-50 to 1957-58, with the differences being different sleeve stripe pattern and they were wool jerseys. In 1959-60 they went to this sleeve pattern style, and that was used until the end of Bobby Orr's rookie season. Right around 1961-62, durene jerseys started to appear in the NHL. Most teams started to use durene jerseys right around this time period. The NY Rangers last year wearing wool jerseys was 63-64 and in 64-65 they went to durene. The Detroit Redwings in 1962-63. Also the Chicago Blackhawks made the switch right around the 1961-62 season. We are assuming the Boston Bruins made the switch circa 1962-63 season to a heavy double knit. This style Bruins jersey was last worn in the 1966-67 season. In 1967-68 they went to a tie down style, which was the classic style still worn when they won 2 Stanley Cups in 70' and 72'. After further research the white jerseys were worn for 45 to 50 games. This is approximately how many games this jersey was worn. There was another set of whites that was recycled from a previous year and was used only a few times when the current set was at the seamstress and cleaners and there was no time to get them back in time for a game. This is what the old code of 4307 was used for in the hem of the jerseys. Further research according to Stall and Dean who did the lettering on the Wilson jerseys that the nylon was spun each year was dyed and would always come in a slighter different shade then the previous set. To make sure each set of jerseys stayed together and did not get mixed up so players would not be wearing slightly different colored jerseys every other set they would stamp 4307 in the hem..
How the Bobby Orr Rookie Jersey was researched
Here is what we needed to know:
Question: Did the bruins recycle their jerseys down to the Niagara-Falls Flyers of the OHA?
Answer: Yes, in the photos below you can clearly see in the back row of a1964-65 team photo of the Niagara-Falls Flyers a player still has the spoke "B" logo from Boston. Also on the jersey itself you can clearly see the old thread and outline of the Bruins logo. And just this last August at set of numbers, "A" and a crest were sold that came directly from someone affiliated with the Flyers.
1964-65 Niagara Falls Flyers Inside logo
Question : Did anyone wear #4 for the Bruins before Bobby Orr, in 62-63, 63-64, 64-65 or 65-66 and if so, were they an assistant captain?
Answer: Bruins players wearing # 4 before Orr during the era of this jersey were:
# 4 in 1962-63 - Pat Stapleton - 21 games played of 69, not an assistant captain. Pictured below.
#4 in 1963-64 - Bob McCord - 65 games played of 70, not an assistant captain. Pictured below.
NOTE: Notice that the neckline in the 62-63 Stapleton and 63-64 McCord photos are both cut. This clearly shows that the Bruins recycled jerseys, and that in these two photos are probably the same jersey.
# 4 in 1964-65 - Bob McCord - 43 games played of 70, not an assistant captain. No photo available.
# 4 in 1965-66 - Albert Langlois - 65 games played of 70, not a assistant captain. Pictured below.
Question: How long did the Niagara Falls Flyers wear this style jersey? In order for this to be a recycled Orr it means the N.F. Flyers had to have worn it in 1967-68 at least.
Answer: The Niagara Falls Flyers did indeed wear this style in 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70, 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons (1971-72 was the last year of the N.F. Flyers in the OHA).
Question: Who wore # 4 for the Niagara Falls Flyers from 1962-63 to 1967-68 and when was the "A" on the jersey added?
Answer: The "A" was probably added when it got to Niagara Falls. There is no evidence that Orr was an assistant captain in 1966-67.
Players that wore # 4 for the N.F. Flyers from 1967-68 to 1971-72:
# 4 in 1967-68 - Unknown
# 4 in 1968-69 - Bob Boyd: played 50 out of 54 games. This was found in a N.F. Flyers game program. In the lineup card he is listed as # 4 and in the team photo he is # 4. He was not the assistant captain from the print of that program. 1968-69 the Assistants listed are Ross Webley, Phil Roberto, and Rick Thompson.
#4 in 1969-70 - Bob Boyd: played 35 out of 54 games. This was found in a N.F. Flyers game program. In the lineup card he is listed as # 4 and in the team photo he is # 4.
# 4 in 1970-71 - Brent Meeke: played 59 out of 59 games. Not confirmed.
The Big Key
# 4 in 1971-72 - Brent Meeke: played 30 out of 69 games and is confirmed in a N.F. Flyers game program listing him as an assistant captain. See photo below.
The Photo Match
As of 1-8-05 this jersey has been photo matched to a photo from Nov 9th at Madison square garden 7 or 8 games old and it is matched to the tear on the seam. The photo is in route and will be posted later. The jersey has also been video matched to a game Oct. 29, 1966 Orr's first game at Madison Square Garden to repairs on his right sleeve elbow and its also video matched to Feb. 18, 1967 vs. Toronto at Maple Leaf Garden.
In these two photos there are 10 points that certainly clarify a photo match.
Point 1 - The loose black thread that comes across the neckline can be seen in the photo and on the jersey.
Point 2 - The black stitching that comes off the Black yoke onto the white area can be seen on the jersey and the photo.
Point 3 - Look at the top of the # 4 and how the black gets fatter at the top, same as the photo and the jersey.
Point 4 - Every similarity of the # 4 on the sleeve in the photo and the jersey are identical.
Point 5 - The black thread that comes into the white-collar area, same as on the jersey.
Point 6 - The equal distance of the black shoulder yoke just below the white collar is of equal distance on the jersey.
Point 1 - The loose thread coming off the jersey on the seam just below the armpit, it’s the same distance from the armpit and the thread is the same length.
Point 2 - There is a hole just above the black hem stripe and you can clearly see this on the photo. The photo has the jersey folded at the exact point where the hole is on the jersey creating this pinch.
Point 3 - The white thread in the double reinforced elbow stops at the exact length as on the jersey. It stops because on the inside of the jersey the reinforced elbow stitching is blown out, due to Orr's elbow pads.
Point 4 - Again you can see the black thread that comes off the shoulder yoke.
|Picture 2 - Point 2||Picture 1 - Point 1||Picture 2 - Point 1|
|Picture 1 - Point 4 & 3||Picture 1 - Point 2
Picture 2 - Point 4
|Picture 2 - Point 3|
See the jersey authenticated on film below
Film one Film two
Bobby Orr - Wilson Double knit, size 48. Wilson tag in lower backside hem with a size 48 tag. Also a Wilson inventory tag number imprinted 4307. This jersey was also worn by Brent Meeke of the Niagara Falls Flyers when it was handed down to the Flyers.
|The Right Sleeve|
|The Left Sleeve|
|The Front Collar Area|