It’s been quite the week for Wayne Gretzky.
As if a surprise move to TNT as the face of their new NHL coverage for the 2021-22 season wasn’t enough, The Great One racked up yet another accolade on Thursday with the announcement that his original 1979 O-Pee-Chee rookie card sold at auction for a record-breaking $3.75 million.
The card, one of only two known in existence, was graded Gem Mint 10 by Professional Sport Authenticator and is considered one of the rarest in the world.
With this sale, Gretzky now holds an undoubtedly unique distinction in the sports collectibles world as the namesake behind the only two hockey cards to ever be sold for over one million dollars. The other Gem-Mint version of his 1979 rookie card sold for a then-record $1.29 million at auction in December of 2020. Thursday’s sale, obviously, eclipses that figure by a considerable margin.
Heritage Auction’s Director of Sports, Chris Ivory referred to the newly-established record as “not surprising, considering how rare and significant this card is”
“After all, there are only two examples. And, it’s Wayne Gretzky.”
Both the buyer and seller involved in this transaction have chosen to remain anonymous, but their excitement is palpable.
“Throughout many years of collecting, this card has always been our ‘white whale,’” said the buyer when reached for comment.
“Our family is thrilled to become the new guardians of this world-class hobby treasure.”
It’s an expensive investment, but a worthwhile one to acquire what many consider to be the ‘holy grail’ of the sports collectible community.