Seven years following his retirement, the greatest player in the history of professional hockey is still setting records. MINT State, an Illinois dealer specializing in high-grade sports cards has sold a 1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky rookie card for $80,000.
The company claims it is the most valuable hockey trading card in existence. Although Gretzky’s 1979-80 rookie cards from OPC and Topps are perceived to be a fairly modern issue and not considered especially rare, the card is the only Gem Mint 10 ever graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and therefore commanded a huge premium.
Rick Snyder, founder and President of MINT State, brokered the sale between two of the company’s clients.
“Our consignor purchased the only PSA-graded Gem Mint 10 of Gretzky’s OPC rookie card in August 2005,” explained Snyder. “He made a recent decision to refocus his collection and asked MINT State to find a buyer. In less than 30 minutes, the card had sold to a private collector for $80,000, the highest price ever paid for a single hockey card.”
Snyder continued, “Extremely high grade football, basketball, and hockey cards continue to escalate in value at higher rates than their baseball counterparts. The buyer viewed this as a rare opportunity to acquire the finest known rookie card of a major sport’s universally recognized all-time greatest player.”