Number Four Bobby Orr

Sports Illustrated. McClelland & Stewart/Fenn (Random House, North American dist.), $22.95/C$24.95 trade paper (190p) ISBN 978-0-7710-7925-2
The makeup of this collection from the pages of Sports Illustrated is a lot like a hockey team. There are A-list writers such as Frank Deford, deftly tossing out beautiful turns of phrase on a debuting 18-year-old Orr, and the veteran S.L. Price anchoring the line-up with a rock-solid 2009 story on Orr turned player agent, even more fascinating given that Number Four did not agree to an interview. Mark Mulvoy, SI's hockey writer at the height of Orr's stardom from 1968-1974, turns in dependable tales that are often more about the Bruins than just Orr, reflecting the news of the day. Centering the squad is Jack Olsen, with the 1970 "Sportsman of the Year" epic that will stand the test of time. Role players such as Gary Ronberg and Peter Gammons fill out the team. Hockey Hall of Fame writer Michael Farber serves as the general manager, delivering an inspiring pre-game speech/foreword that stresses Orr's importance to the game without getting bogged down in statistics. Although an anthology which relies on what appeared in the magazine leaves large gaps in the story—from 1978 to 2009—this is still a icy cool collection for all those who were electrified watching Orr at the height of his game. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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