Bobby Orr is widely regarded as the greatest hockey player of all time, and his trading cards are some of the most valuable and sought-after in the hobby. His on the ice were filled with awards and even a couple of Stanley Cup victories for the Boston Bruins. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at Orr’s history, explore some of the most expensive Bobby Orr cards featuring this iconic player, and offer insight into the high value they command.
Bobby Orr: The Ultimate Defender
Bobby Orr's exceptional play definitely contributed to his popularity among collectors and the high value his trading cards fetch. His defensive play was legendary, but the fact that he also scored so many goals changed the way people thought about his position. Just two years into his 12-year career, Bobby Orr began a string of winning eight straight Norris Trophies as the most dominant defender in the NHL. He was routinely one of the highest-scoring players in all of the league throughout his storied career.
Bobby Orr cards are also prized for their uniqueness and rarity. Some of his most popular cards are hard to find because they were limited editions. Many of Orr's cards are also highly-valued because of their compelling and quirky designs for that time in sports card history.
The Top 10 Most Expensive Bobby Orr Hockey Cards
For our list, we’re focused only on valuable Bobby Orr solo cards, not those that featured other players with him. Additionally, many of his cards appeared from Topps or O-Pee-Chee depending on the location, so we’ve focused on just listing each card once with the value it’s worth.
10. 1971 O-Pee-Chee #100 Bobby Orr - $4,716
Starting our list is this fresh-faced shot of Orr a few years into his stellar career. This valuable card was sold for just shy of $5,000 in November 2019. Basically the same card with the same photo came out from Topps USA, but the 1971 O-Pee-Chee #100 Bobby Orr version commands a higher value, perhaps due to its scarcity.
9. Bobby Orr 2012-13 Precious Metal Gem RED Hockey Card #21/100 - $4,999
Not all high-value Bobby Orr cards are from the 60s and 70s. In 2012, Fleer’s prestigious Precious Metal Gems line released a card and parallel versions commemorating Bobby Orr and many other exceptional athletes in the Retro Universe line. The series featured photo cutouts of famous athletes in front of Red, Blue, and Green backgrounds, with super-limited numbers. The Red series were the most common, but that’s just relatively speaking since their populations were between 10 and 100 cards. This Red copy of the Bobby Orr card, rated by Canadian grading company KSA, put it at a 9.5 and that drove up the value to almost $5,000. Copies of the Blue version, which is slightly scarcer, have also increased in value. Further up the list, you’ll see how well a Green edition of the same card has also gone up in value.
8. 1970 O-Pee-Chee #3 Bobby Orr - $5,240
The O-Pee-Chee line of cards were always quirky and this orange-backed 1970 O-Pee-Chee #3 Bobby Orr card is worth a lot of money as a result. Orr’s picture cutout has him ready to defend his team on the ice, with an inserted background featuring sunbursts. This stance and image are used on other cards, too, but this is one of the most valuable versions. In October of 2011, a PSA 9 Mint copy of it sold for over $5,000. In recent days, a PSA 9 copy sold for a bit less and lower-grade cards, while still valuable, can be had for a few hundred dollars.
7. 1967 Topps #128 Bobby Orr ALL STAR - $7,800
Bobby Orr was an all-star player for most of his NHL seasons. The photo from this All Star collection of Topps cards was later used for other cards (see below), but the colorful 60s feel of this 1967 Topps #128 Bobby Orr ALL STAR card is surely part of why its value has accelerated over the years. Thus, it’s no surprise that a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy of this iconic card sold for $7,250 in July 2022.
6. 1965-1966 Crown Life Spotlight Oshawa Generals Bobby Orr - $7,800
In keeping with the theme of unconventional designs and styles for Bobby Orr cards driving up their value, this one is extra special. Before joining the NHL, Bobby Orr played on a local junior league team called the Oshawa Generals and the team issued 5x7 cards with team member images. This one is rare and likely to excite collectors who don’t mind an unusually-sized card in their collection. The photo is black-and-white, but still shows a young, happy Bobby Orr ready to leap into the rink. This rarity was sold in March 2019 at this value despite being only a PSA 5, although at the time, PSA had never graded a copy of this card before.
5. 1969 Topps Hockey #24 Bobby Orr - $10,200
A few years into his career, Topps produced this attractive hockey trading card that would gain in value promptly after his retirement ten years later. While 1969 Topps Hockey #24 Bobby Orr is one of the more traditional designs of the cards on this list, it still has a cartoon hockey stick on the side, perhaps showing that trading card designers spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best looks to drive the value and collectability of hockey cards higher. Per PSA, hundreds of cards in this population have been graded and only one has been designated at the Gem Mint level. This may be why a PSA Gem Mint 10 sold for more than $10,000 back in October 2017.
4. 1968 O-Pee-Chee Bobby Orr #2 - $11,384
Using the same cutout photo of Orr as featured in the Topps line the year before (see the next card), this 1968 O-Pee-Chee Bobby Orr #2 card also had a cartoon-style image of players on the ice in the background. The art didn’t stop there. The value of this unusual card likely also comes from the cartoon on the back, professing the city of Boston’s appreciation for their star defenseman. No doubt, the Bruins expressed so much appreciation for Orr that he spent most of his career in Boston. In December 2013, a collector raised the value for this card by paying over $11,000 for a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy of this iconic card.
3. BOBBY ORR 2012 Fleer Retro Universe 1 Precious Metal Gems Green 1/10 - $13,100
Here’s another more modern Bobby Orr card, again from the Precious Metal Gems set from Fleer back in 2012. The Green cards were always the rarest, usually coming out only in sets of 10. Red and blue copies of the card never come too near the exclusive and expensive green line, and this is no exception. The Orr card here is among his most valuable, with a BGS 8 quality card selling for over $13,000 in May 2022. Yet another example of a unique design driving up the value of a Bobby Orr card.
2. 1967 Topps Hockey Bobby Orr #92 - $19,400
This sophomore season Bobby Orr card is worth so much money not just because of it depicting Orr at this early stage of his storied career. The design, with a picture of Orr in front of a simple drawing of an audience in the stands, is quite unusual. In May 2021, a PSA 10 Gem Mint copy sold for almost $20,000, but less-than-mint copies have a lower value and can be had in the sub-$1,000 range.
1. 1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card - $204,020
It’s impossible to talk about exceptional hockey players and their valuable rookie cards without invoking Wayne Gretzky. While Gretzky’s generally considered the greatest ice hockey player of all time, Bobby Orr was the ultimate defenseman. This 1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card features a young Orr in his Bruins uniform and is highly coveted by collectors due to its iconic design and the fact that it was one of Orr's earliest cards. Rookie cards often rise higher than most in value, especially when these 1960s cards are still in minty-fresh condition. That’s why a PSA 9 Mint copy of this mid-60s rookie card sold for $204,020 back in 2019.
The Legacy of the Bobby Orr
Bobby Orr's sports cards are among the most expensive and desired in hockey collectibles. Through his dominance on the ice and his enduring popularity among fans and collectors, Orr has left a lasting legacy that is reflected in the value and significance of his hockey cards. We hope that this article has provided valuable insights into the history and significance of Bobby Orr's hockey cards, and helps fans find the perfect Bobby Orr card to round out their collection.