Wayne Gretzky burst onto the NHL scene in 1979 and the league was never the same. The most talented offensive player in the history of the sport won the Hart (MVP) Trophy his first season and would go on to win the honor 8 seasons in a row. Gretzky’s hockey cards are quite sought after. His rookie card is out of the price range of the average collector but there are other options that are still fun to add.
Wayne Gretzky had a stunning year in his 1979-80 rookie season. The teenager tied for the league lead in scoring with 137 points (still a rookie record) and he earned his first Hart Memorial Trophy. He was, however, ineligible to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year due to his previous WHL experience.
As noted earlier, Gretzky’s rookie card is out of the price range for most collectors, but his 2nd-year card is a nice option. The card, numbered 250 in the 1980 O-Pee-Chee set, sells for between $400-$600 in a PSA 8. A PSA 9 copy of the card will run closer to $2,000.
In August of 1988, the Edmonton Oilers shocked the hockey world by trading Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings. The move was a boon for American hockey as many casual fans become more interested in seeing the Great One play. It was less popular in Canada where citizens called for the government to block the trade.
The transaction would ultimately go through, though and Topps and O-Pee-Chee quickly moved to put out a card featuring the center in a Kings uniform. The O-Pee-Chee issue of the card is quite popular today with a PSA 9 selling for around $150 and a PSA 10 selling for closer to $2,500.
1996 Fleer Ultra
The player most connected to Gretzky throughout his career was fellow superstar Mark Messier. Messier won a cup with the Oilers following the Great One’s departure. Mess then moved to the Rangers, becoming a league MVP, then winning a Stanley Cup with the Blue Shirts.
In 1996, Gretzky attempted to replicate Messier’s success by joining the New York Rangers. While he played out the remainder of his career like a star, the center was unable to capture another cup. Gretzky’s first card in a Rangers’ uniform was from the 1996 Fleer set. The rare card could sell for up to $450 in a PSA 10.
Something signed by Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier
No player was more connected to Gretzky than long-time teammate Mark Messier. Together, Gretzky and Messier won a total of 4 Stanley Cup Championships. Messier would go on to win an additional cup with the Oilers as well as one with the Rangers.
There are several cards on the market that are signed by both Messier and Gretzky and many are available online. The prices can range wildly depending on scarcity and condition. Expect to spend at least $1,000 on a dual-signature card.
1978 National Sports Cards
Prior to playing for the Edmonton Oilers, Gretzky starred for the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA. While the WHA was not long for the world, it was a professional hockey league. And a company called National Sports Cards produced a set that included the first card of the Great One.
The Gretzky rookie is widely available online and sells for a fraction of what the O-Pee-Chee rookie sells for. While the card is not graded by PSA or BGS, other companies like GMA and KSA are willing to verify the condition. Cards can be had online for under $100.
*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.
I love these posts of hall of famers. Can you do a Kobe Bryant one? Thanks