Unopened boxes of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey don’t come to market very often. Those that still have the rudimentary but familiar piece of the company’s signature tape over the front lid are virtually non-existent.
Collectors who’ve been searching for the whitest of vintage hockey wax white whales can stop looking. There’s one in Heritage Auctions’ upcoming Summer catalog auction, with a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 or more. Heritage officials believe it’s the only ’79-80 OPC hockey box ever to come to auction that still has the original tape on the front.
The Canadian issues of the era were bigger than their Topps counterparts and the ’79-80 issue contains 48 packs of 14 cards, making it likely there’s at least one or two high-grade Wayne Gretzky rookie card inside.
The box has been authenticated by Steve Hart of BBCE.
Bidding will begin in late June with the auction set to run through July 19-20.