The Goal

The dream call for any curator is one in which a donor not only offers a priceless artifact but also shares a wonderful story. Such was the case twenty years ago when a north shore woman called to offer the donation of the net in which Bobby Orr scored the most famous goal in Bruins and possibly hockey history.

Contacting me on behalf of her husband, a local bank executive, she told me how he and a friend had capped their game day celebration by driving to the Boston Garden on that blisteringly hot Sunday afternoon in 1970. Parking behind the arena they clambered up the fire escape, and soon blended in with the Bull Gang. Having spied the precious net at the west end of the rink they made their move and boldly walked down the old elephant ramp exit with their prize. After carefully placing it in their Karman Ghia convertible they clung for dear life on the ride home to Peabody.

Reaching for my detective’s cap after they delivered the prize to the museum that evening my instincts told me it was the real McCoy for the following reasons:

  • The couple wanted nothing for their donation. Not Bruins or museum tickets, nor a signature from Bobby. Nothing. They simply wanted to do the right thing.
  • The frame had not a shred of the nylon netting that had been cut with scissors and knives by the mob of souvenir hunters that descended on the ice following the goal.
  • The frame was the distinctive NHL Art Ross bow back configuration that was re-designed several years following Orr’s famous goal.

An artifact and a tale for the ages.

Only in Boston.

About the Curator’s Corner

Richard Johnson’s “Curator’s Corner” is  where you will find videos featuring Richard and Sports Museum Executive Director, Rusty Sullivan, discussing Boston sports history, as well as blog posts written by Richard himself.

Dr. Johnson had his dutiful devoted Boswell, likewise Jazz was the magnetic force which drew out the erudite ramblings of Whitney Balliet, Nat Hentoff, and Ralph Gleason, while politics prompted the ink stained deadline driven submissions of David Brodner, Mike Royko, Jimmy Breslin, Scotty Reston, and Molly Ivins..all talents perfectly suited to the their beats as well as to the events, and personages they helped define with their informed incisive prose.
Boston Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn swinging a bat
1998. Once again we find that today's Red Sox home opener coincides with that other Holy Day of Good Friday. Such was also the case in 1998 on a day that headlines proclaimed that beer sales would be prohibited on grounds of the solemnity of the religious holiday. Pretty sure that was a Fenway first.
After learning of Larry Eisenhauer's death today veteran sportswriter Leigh Montville nailed it when he observed, "Ike was Gronk before Gronk."