The 12 Days of Christmas is one of the most recognizable carols in the Christmas lexicon, so we’re pairing it with the most recognizable jerseys.
Rob Manoff, Rob Whitney, and myself aka the voices behind the Write The Radio podcast are embarking on the 12 Jersey GOATS of Christmas. From the partridge in the pear tree to twelve drummers drumming we’re going 1 through 12 to find the best player who ever wore the number.
How it’s going down is simple. We’ve narrowed down a rep from each of the 4 major sports and throw a poll up on Twitter. Then the real experts weigh in and select the final winner. We’ll put up a post announcing the winner. Later in the countdown, we’ll announce our contest winners as well.
Oh, that’s right, we’re doing a giveaway as well. That part is simple too. All it takes is 3 simple steps. 1. Vote in the polls. 2. Retweet the poll. 3. Follow the Last Out Media Twitter account.
Four Calling Birds-A Big Bad Bruin
We had our first tie in the poll. Then we had our 2nd tie in the poll. In the 4 way race between Dolph Shayes, Brett Favre, Lou Gehrig, and Bobby Orr. Gehrig and Orr both emerged from the first heat tied at 33.3% of the vote. After a quick deliberation with the Robs, we decided another poll was needed. Well, that poll again proved to not be definitive.
So we were left to make the final decision. Ultimately we had to go with the man who was never really separated from that number. It has to be number 4, Bobby Orr.
Orr’s legacy was built in Boston but has stood the test of time and even gets a begrudging nod of respect down in Philadelphia. Orr was a remarkable skater, could handle the puck, and systematically changed how defenseman play the game of hockey. He was likely the most important player of the 1970s and he was also the best. He is still widely considered to be one of the best players ever and is the consensus best defenseman ever. Orr is the only player ever to win the Norris Trophy (Best defenseman), Art Ross Trophy (league’s highest scorer), Hart Trophy (league MVP), and Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP), in one season (1969–70).
Orr has records that still stand today.
- Most points in one NHL season by a defenceman (139; 1970–71)
- Most assists in one NHL season by a defenceman (102; 1970–71)
- Most 100-point seasons by a defenceman (1969-70 – 1974-75)
- Highest plus/minus in one NHL season (+124; 1970–71)
- Most assists in one NHL game by a defenceman (6; tied with Babe Pratt, Pat Stapleton, Ron Stackhouse, Paul Coffey, and Gary Suter)
- The fastest goal from the start of overtime to clinch the Stanley Cup (0:40; 1970, game 4)
- The only player to ever win the Norris and Art Ross Trophy in the same season.
At the end of his career, Orr’s totals read that with 657 NHL games, Orr amassed 915 points (270 goals, 645 assists) with 953 penalty minutes and was an incredible +582. In the playoffs, he added another 74 games with 92 points (26 goals, 66 assists) 92 penalty minutes, and a +60.
We selected Orr because he literally changed the way his position on the ice is played. Gehrig is obviously as worth as anyone, and ironically both men had their careers cut short thanks to injury and illness.