A Wayne Gretzky rookie card, the finest in known existence, shattered, smashed, and demolished the previous record for any hockey card sale.
In August 2016, Goldin Auctions had the pleasure of securing an industry-shaking $465,000 at auction. The same card last sold in 2011 for $94,000. If that's not killer return-on-investment, we don't know what is.
Graded GEM MT 10 by PSA, this is the only known example of a perfect Gretzky rookie card. The 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee rookie card is Gretzky's TRUE rookie card. Nearly 4,000 of them have been graded by PSA over the years, but this is the only GEM MT 10. What does hockey's greatest player's one-of-a-kind rookie card mean for the sports collectibles industry? Obviously, it's makes a few huge statements that everyone from beginner collectors to seasoned industry pros can see:Hockey collectibles aren't just "up and coming". They are here. Now.
Sports collecting is about scarcity and condition, of course. But you don't have to find a one-of-a-kind rookie card for it to be well worth your investment. There are lots of great cards, as well as other sports memorabilia, out there that are solid buys. During any given auction, we always have some great examples available. This new record-breaking sale, though, can help other Gretzky and hockey collectibles specifically, to go up in demand. Numbers talk, and so does all the media coverage over this record sale bringing new attention and fresh eyes to the scene.
No mention of Wayne Gretzky's rookie card or other collectibles would be complete without an ode to the man himself. After all, without his greatness, collectors would have some other name on their lips, and it's probably safe to say that hockey itself would never have reached the level of popularity that it has.
A man of average height and build, even on the small side within the world of hockey, managed to become "The Great One" through sheer talent, determination, and brains. Widely said to be the most intelligent player on the ice, he was famous for his ability to analyze and think quickly, then execute with shocking precision. In a sport known as much for physical contact, broken teeth, and brute force as for scoring and skating, Wayne Gretzky glided around, surveying the ice, then not wasting a second to make the smartest move. He made a tough sport surge in popularity.