Collectors still searching for Bobby Orr's jersey from 'Flying Goal' game

Orr's goal won the 1970 Stanley Cup final for Boston, but his historic sweater has yet to surface

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Bobby Orr's "Flying Goal" from the 1970 Stanley Cup final is commemorated with a statue outside TD Garden in Boston. (Credit: Getty Images)

Jerseys from the good ol' days are hard to find for a couple reasons.

There's the supply issue, as players used to often wear the same uniforms for an entire season. And there also was an awareness issue, as game-worn items were not recognized as anything more than clothing decades ago.

So, many of the greatest jerseys of all time were either passed off to a random person, or handed down to a minor-leaguer after logos and names were scrubbed off.

Mickey Mantle's 1957 uniform, currently up for auction at Goldin, was saved by a minor-leaguer in Triple-A. The interlocking "NY" was scrubbed off in favor of the minor-league affiliate's "Triplets" nickname, but Mantle's name sewn into the jersey at the bottom tipped off the minor-leaguer that it was worth saving.

Which brings us to one of the jerseys the memorabilia world is still looking for: Bobby Orr's jersey from the 1970 Stanley Cup final. This incredible piece of hockey history is still missing as we hit the 54-year anniversary of his famous "Flying Goal" on Friday.

Several Orr jerseys have sold at auction through the years, but not the one from his most famous moment. (Credit: Getty Images)
Several Orr jerseys have sold at auction through the years, but not the one from his most famous moment. (Credit: Getty Images)

According to one memorabilia dealer in Massachusetts, a man once claimed to have Orr's jersey in his dusty basement. The urban legend, the dealer tells cllct, was that the man’s wife was dating Orr at the time and gave her his jersey as the “Flying Goal” yielded Orr's first Stanley Cup.

The overtime goal in Game 4 of Boston's sweep against the St. Louis Blues capped an amazing season in which Orr won the Hart, Norris, Art Ross and Conn Smythe trophies.

The dealer said that, despite several approaches, the man has not produced the jersey.

Dan Imler, vice president of sports, private sales and consignments for Heritage isn't ready to write off the search for the Orr "Flying Goal" uniform.

"There's a lot of stories about teammates or team personnel being gifted jerseys, and I would find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't keep that over time," Imler said. "I'm not ruling out that it would turn up one day."

Heritage has sold five game-used Orr jerseys. The most expensive sale was for a jersey from Orr's rookie season of 1966-67, which sold for $191,200 in April 2010. A 1970-71 jersey sold for $150,000 in 2020, a 1971-72 sweater for $147,118 in 2022, a 1974-75 for $60,000 in 2010 and a jersey he wore for his final game as a member of the Bruins went for $59,750 in 2015.

The consignor to the most valuable jersey sold was a nephew of Garry Young, who was the Bruins head scout in the Orr years. Young knew the jerseys were going down to the farm club and would be scrubbed, so he took the Orr and a Gerry Cheevers for himself and later gifted it to the consignor. The 1970-71 jersey was given to a worker at the Boston Garden, who kept it and consigned it to Heritage some 50 years later.

So, how much would the "Flying Goal" jersey sell for it were found?

"I think it would break records," said Marc Juteau, president and founder of Classic Auctions, a Quebec based hockey auction house, which holds the record for the highest sale of an Orr jersey ($209,455 for a 1970-71 jersey in 2021).

Only two hockey jerseys have sold for more than that: Mike Eruzione's U.S. Olympic jersey, which went for $657,000 in 2013 and is worth at least double that in today's market; and the jersey Paul Henderson was wearing for Canada in the Summit Series when they defeated the Soviets in 1972. Juteau's auction company sold the Henderson jersey for $1,275,000 in 2012, before game-worn memorabilia started to take off.

For Imler, the "Flying Goal" has all the elements of a record-breaker in this market.

"It's among the most iconic and most memorable moments in sports history," Imler said. "In today's marketplace, it's easily a seven-figure jersey."

Darren Rovell is the founder of and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.