PSA 10 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card Sets Record Price for a Hockey Card

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Goldin Gretzky PSA 10

By Stephen Laroche | Beckett Hockey Editor

A new record price for a hockey card has been established and it is only fitting that it is for the only 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee rookie card of the Great One, Wayne Gretzky.

Last night, the intense bidding for the PSA 10 card reached its culmination and sold via Goldin Auctions for an incredible $465,000.00 during the company’s 2016 Premium Live Auction which ended at the 37th National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City. While there was initial speculation that it could have reached the $500,000.00 level, it fell just short of that mark.

Gretzky back

Regarded as one of the most iconic hockey cards, this is the only copy of the card to achieve the grade of PSA 10 and it has an interesting history. It was previously sold back in 2011 through SCP Auctions for $94,162.80. The card still has the same serial number, 50009785, but it was reholdered since that time due to the presence of a PSA hologram on the label. Previously, the card had been in a holder from Beckett Grading Services which had a grade of 9.5 before selling for $50,000 on eBay. According to PSA’s registry before the auction began, the company had graded 3,727 copies of the O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie card to date.

While some collectors and casual observers not familiar with the nuances and quirks of the Gretzky rookie card had expressed some concern with what appeared to be rough edge, it should be noted that this simply something that is common for O-Pee-Chee cards from this era. The reason why the uneven edges are so common to see? The company would cut the sheets its cards were printed on with wires and the stacked sheets could also shift during the cutting process.

Is there another high-grade Gretzky out there waiting to be uncovered? There is little doubt that those who think they may have one are going to be looking through their collections with dreams of a big payday, but they are encouraged to use good judgement and remember that condition is the key factor in the price realized here. For more information on Beckett Grading Services, click here.

The remaining portion of Goldin’s current auction runs until August 13.

Stephen Laroche is the editor of Beckett Hockey, Beckett Basketball, and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at slaroche@beckett.com or follow him on Twitter @Stephen_Laroche.

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12 comments

  1. Jonathan 5 August, 2016 at 12:44

    Wow. The edge thing caught me, too. I always thought that when a set of cards was commonly off-center, cut funny, etc., they were just graded like a normal card. We all know of notoriously difficult sets to collect at high grades because of common flaws that arise throughout the set. It seems there was different thinking on this particular set. Are there others that get this “pass” for common flaws?

  2. Frank Caporusso 5 August, 2016 at 14:11

    Sorry, but no way that’s a 10. Centering is well off and edges, to say the least, are not cleanly cut and have white all over them. The two bottom corners also show white. Sad job on PSA’s part.

  3. Chris Kroynovich 6 August, 2016 at 07:23

    That is a horrible excuse for the grade. Using that logic should my previously EX-NMT Cal Ripken XRCs and Bird/Magic RCs be Gem Mint 10s because off-center cards are so common from that era?

  4. Fred Porter 20 August, 2016 at 07:51

    I agree that the cuts are not pro. I have a 25th anniversary card has better centring than his rookie card. And speaking of that, how can you take a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and reprint it as a 25th anniversary card with out changing the on the back. This whole thing is wrong.

  5. Fred Porter 20 August, 2016 at 08:01

    Sorry I made a mistake in the first posting . With out changing the number on the back of the card. Should have used one of his other cards. I see that it is a reprint , it still should have a different card to stop any confusion ..

  6. Jupiter 12 October, 2016 at 03:10

    Another example of a card that is not even close to gem mint grade status. For some reason a lot of these sensitive cards are getting free passes for 9’s or 10’s. This is 8.5 at best in my opinion. If it had better centering I would give it a 9 just saying.

  7. Corny Le Boeuf 7 February, 2019 at 01:41

    “it should be noted that this simply something that is common for O-Pee-Chee cards from this era” Totally weak. That just means that a true gem mint 10 will be that much harder to find. It doesn’t mean you can shift the whole standard downward so that obviously flawed cards now count as 10s. PSA should know that better than anyone else. After all, if you give that card a 10, what must you give the WG rookie card that comes through the door with perfect centering and no rough cut? A 10.1?

  8. Joseph Visaggi 24 September, 2019 at 11:15

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I agree that the card shouldn’t be a 10. Calling it a 10 dumbs down the entire grading process.

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