Robert Gordon Orr (born March 20, 1948) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. Orr used his ice skating speed, scoring, and play-making abilities to revolutionize the position of defenseman. He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for 12 seasons, starting with 10 with the Boston Bruins, followed by 2 with the Chicago Black Hawks.
And that last statistic helps us to date this promotional card. It was handed out to school students for participating in a Read-a-Thon program. Orr had signed a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1976 and was active with the team until about 1979, when his number was retired. He retired from playing altogether at that time.
The card below pictures Orr wearing a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, confirming this promotional giveaway must have been during his relatively brief time with the team.
Unfortunately, the signature on this card is not ‘live’ but was printed along with the image of the player. So no added value is afforded the piece due to the autograph. Not likely as sought-after as a rookie card, but maybe a completist who collects Bobby Orr memorabilia might covet something like this!
My wife received this card for her participation in the M. S. (Multiple Sclerosis) Read-a-Thon as a Mystery Sleuth. She confirms receiving the card in 1979 which would make her 10-years old at the time, and in grade 5. If you click the link, you’ll see that this program is still offered! And you can enroll your child today and help raise funds for a worthy charity.
And maybe they’ll receive a message like the one below, perhaps from a contemporary star of sports or entertainment:
M. S. Read-a-Thon inspires kids to read as much as they can, all for an incredible cause. The rules are simple: they read whatever they want, as much as they can! Like when my wife participated, children can get sponsors to pay them any amount per book read.
Children can register with their school (teachers, you can register your class) or individually. Best of all, by joining this quest, not only will children awaken a love of reading, but they will also be helping people who live with multiple sclerosis (MS) in their community.
The card featured in this post is definitely ‘old-school’. Today, children who take part have access to cool things via the Internet. Oh, how things have changed! Did you ever receive a keepsake for participating in some school activity?