Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card Auctions for $3.75M, Sets Record for Hockey Card

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 27, 2021

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24:  Wayne Gretzky #99 of the Edmonton Oilers moves in for the face-off during an NHL game against the New York Rangers on October 24, 1979 at the Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.  (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)
B Bennett/Getty Images

Wayne Gretzky remains "The Great One" long after his retirement from the NHL.

According to ESPN's Tom VanHaaren, Heritage Auctions sold a 1979 O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie card—rated a Gem Mint 10 by PSA—for $3.75 million, the highest price ever for a single hockey card. The figure was more than double the previous mark ($1.29 million), with the latter sale also centered around the O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie.

The soaring fee for the $1.29 million card is emblematic of the boom surrounding sports cards. It was sold for just $94,000 in 2011 before fetching $465,000 in 2016, per VanHaaren.

The card and the old record-holder are the only two 1979 Gretzky O-Pee-Chees with a Gem Mint 10 grade, which helps explain their exorbitant costs.

It comes as little surprise that Gretzky would be the player to command the highest single transaction in the hockey trading card market.

The 60-year-old is a four-time Stanley Cup champion who ranks first in goals (894) and assists (1,963), and his assist tally on its own would be enough to make him the league's all-time points leader.

If you happen to have any Gretzky cards sitting around, now is the time to cash out.