Wayne Gretzky rookie card sets record with $1.3M sale at auction

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A Wayne Gretzky 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee rookie card sold for a record price of $1.29M at auction Thursday night.

The final price make this the first hockey card to break the $1M price tag. In August 2016 the same card sold for a then-record of $465,000.

Heritage Auctions says this is just one of two Gretzky cards from that O-Pee-Chee set to get a perfect Gem Mint 10 from the Professional Sports Authenticator grading service.

More on the card’s uniqueness from Sports Collector’s Daily:

[T]he Gretzky OPC rookie is considered the most popular modern era card but it’s difficult to land in high grade, with blue borders that show off wear, inconsistent centering, print marks and other reasons. PSA has examined over 5,700 copies of the OPC Gretzky rookie card.

Wayne Gretzky

This wasn’t the only Wayne Gretzky Gem Mint 10 rookie card to set a record Thursday night. The 1979-80 Topps edition sold for $720,000. Like the O-Pee-Chee, the same card was previously sold in August 2016, but for a little over $200,000.

The photo features Gretzky during a Nov. 1978 World Hockey Association game between the Edmonton Oilers and Gordie Howe’s Hartford Whalers. The shot came from the camera of Steve Babineau, who was paid $17 to work to the game.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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