Bobby Orr is one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to witness much of his dominance in the league.
However, as a Bostonian, I’m forever reminded of the legacy of Bobby Orr.
Orr is not only a Boston sports icon, but one of the most important figures in the history of hockey.
Orr’s hockey cards have been hot in recent years, as all the GOATs have been bid up by vintage collectors. I still think despite the big increases, Orr’s cards are a great investment.
This is of course dependent on the card and the overall scarcity, so use your best judgment in evaluating any of these cards as an investment for your personal collection.
Let’s take a look at the ten most valuable cards of one Bobby Orr.
1965-1966 Crown Life Spotlight Oshawa Generals Bobby Orr (RC)
PSA Graded Population: 2
While many might be familiar with the Topps Orr rookie, most aren't as familiar with this 1965 Crown Life Spotlight Oshawa Generals issue which is a 5x7 photo card. The card is the rarest of all Orr cards; PSA has graded only two copies. The last known sale at auction was back in 2019 for a PSA 8 copy at $11,700. Today's price could potentially near six figures.
1966 Topps Bobby Orr #35 (RC)
PSA Graded Population: 1000+
Orr's 1966 Topps rookie card is certainly one of the most sought after for vintage hockey card collectors. Orr's rookie card features the young Bruin inside of a brown bordered TV set. It is actually the same design used in the 1966 Topps Football set.
PSA has graded Orr's 1966 Topps card over 1000 times, so they aren't scarce by any means, but given the demand, higher graded copies will certainly set you back a few bucks. Even a VG copy (PSA 3) sells for close to $6000.
1966 Topps USA Test Bobby Orr #35 (RC)
PSA Graded Population: 110+
The 1966 Topps USA Test issue was a narrowly distributed set, issued in the US only and is considered to be one of the rarer hockey card issues. There are only 66 cards in the set, as compared to the Topps set, which has 132 cards.
The design is identical to the Topps issue, with the only difference on the front being a lighter wood border. The back of the USA TEST issue is written only in English, whereas the Topps OPC card has a French translation of Orr's bio.
I do think the USA Test Orr rookie card is Orr's best card for overall investment potential. Here's why. If we examine the graded population, PSA has graded roughly 1/10 of the Topps Orr rookie. And then if we examine pricing, the Test issue has only a minor premium. It should be higher in my opinion.
1967 Topps Bobby Orr
PSA Graded Population: 500+
We named the second year 67 Topps Bobby Orr card to our All Vintage Hockey Mid Cap portfolio. We like it most importantly for the fact that its graded population is only half that of the Orr Topps rookie card.
In my opinion, Orr's 1967 Topps card is a great way for collectors to get a much more affordable Orr card, while also appearing to be a strong investment.
I'm also a big fan of the design of the 67 Topps set and this card catches Orr with a big smile. In fact, Topps loved the photo so much that it was re-used year for both Orr's Topps and O-Pee-Chee issue.
1968 OPC/Topps Bobby Orr #2
PSA Graded Population Topps: 600+
PSA Graded Population OPC: 260+
Topps and O-Pee-Chee utilized the same image for Orr in their 1968 Hockey set and the issue introduced a horizontal design, and in my mind a very attractive design. The background is a shot of an old-time hockey game and the contrast with Orr and the colorful borders is fantastic.
There is a fairly big difference between graded populations; there are more than double the amount of Topps cards that have been graded, a trend that was fairly typical through the years.
The OPC card does have a premium, roughly 15-20% across grades, but it can differ. The card is pretty affordable; a PSA 6 OPC sold for around $700 back in early 2021, which I think is an attractive value.
I would put the 68 OPC Orr as the second best card from a value perspective, only behind the 67 Topps Orr.
1969 OPC/Topps Bobby Orr #24
PSA Graded Population Topps: 550+
PSA Graded Population OPC: 290+
I at first thought the photo used for this card was the same as the two prior year issues, but it's not the same shot, but VERY similar. Features Orr with that classic smile. Like the year prior, nearly the same grading difference between Topps and O-Pee-Chee, with nearly the same exact PSA graded population as the 1968 set. Making this card either Topps or OPC a nice affordable Orr card for any collectors looking for something that isn't his rookie or second and third year cards.
1969 OPC 4-1 Bobby Orr
PSA Graded Population: 100+
Similar to the 4-1 football issue from the 1969 Topps Football set, these full size cards featured four players with perforated edges which allowed collector to remove the cards and paste in collectible team albums. Here is an example of a Bruins album in which the cards have been separated and pasted in the album.
Since many kids did tear these apart, finding full unseparated copies is tough, however not impossible. PSA has graded about 100 copies. Given the dearth in graded copies, I actually like this one for an investment as the card is definitely still quite affordable. Higher grade copies can be found usually for less than $600.
1970 OPC/Topps Bobby Orr #3
PSA Graded Population Topps: 740+
PSA Graded Population OPC: 430+
In my mind the 1970 set isn't quite as eye pleasing as the previous Orr issues, but I still like the design with an image of Orr flanked by a red background with specks of light. Personally I would have loved to see this card with colors matching the Bruins yellow and black - maybe a black background with black and yellow lettering on the bottom?
The OPC version sells at a premium versus the Topps card, but this is especially true the higher the grade; for example a PSA 9 OPC copy recently sold for $3600 whereas a similar Topps copy sold for only $1600.
1971 OPC/Topps Bobby Orr #100
PSA Graded Population Topps: 1050+
PSA Graded Population OPC: 520+
Topps and OPC went with a big change in design in 1971, adding more colors and cartoon text for the team name. Personally, not a huge fan of the design as it does feel a bit cartoonish for me, although maybe I'm in the minority.
The Topps population dwarfs the OPC card, more than double the amount have been graded. And from a price perspective the OPC version carries a rough 20-30% premium, especially on the higher end.
Still, a higher grade version of both cards is still quite affordable: for example a PSA 7 (Near Mint) copy sells for around $200.
1972 OPC/Topps Bobby Orr
PSA Graded Population Topps: 1500+
PSA Graded Population OPC: 420+
Orr's 1972 Topps/OPC card wins the award as the ugliest design on this top ten list. From a design standpoint, I hate the colors and I hate the text used for the team name. I bet Topps wishes they could have this one back.
The Topps population is nearly quadruple that of the OPC card, so as you can imagine there is a rather big disparity in pricing between the two. For example, a PSA 9 OPC Orr card recently sold for $1300, more than 4x the price of a similar graded Topps version.
So, if money was no object, which Orr are you buying?
The 66 Topps USA Test?
The 66 Topps?
The 1965-1966 Crown Life Spotlight Oshawa Generals?
Let us know in the comments below!