Those who remember the decade may protest calling it ‘vintage’ but some 1980s material could fetch prices more akin to ‘deceased legends’ at an upcoming auction.
What some believe is the best Michael Jordan rookie card in the world joins a rare unopened, sealed box of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey cards in the Platinum Night event conducted by Heritage Auctions. Heritage officials believe the BGS 10 rated Jordan rookie could fetch more than $80,000 while the OPC hockey box, year of the Wayne Gretzky rookie card, has already been bid up to more than $33,000. The auction still has two weeks to run.
The Jordan card is making its auction debut in the Heritage sale and auction officials say it is the single most perfect specimen ever to find its way into a grading company’s plastic slab. Bids have already soared past $41,000.
“This card is, undoubtedly, the most desirable and valuable trading card printed in the last half century,” said Auction Director Chris Ivy. “More than 7,400 Jordan rookies have been submitted to Beckett for grading and only five have been worthy of a Pristine 10 designation. That calculates to approximately .067 percent.”
The card was on the cover of Beckett’s Summer 2006 Beckett Basketball Card Plus magazine when it became the first BGS 10 Jordan rookie.
Many more BGS 9.5 examples exist and have been averaging around $5,000 with lesser grade versions readily available.
OPC sealed its hockey wax boxes 35 years ago and the one offered in the auction retains that feature, making it especially desirable to collectors.
Inside each of the 48 packs inside are 14 cards. The box, authenticated by pack expert Steve Hart, has minor wear but could yield a high-grade example of the valuable Canadian version of Gretkzy’s rookie card along with other gradeable cards including Hall of Famers Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull. It’s unlikely the winning bidder will open it, however, thanks to the scarcity of its unopened state. Gretzky’s OPC rookie card is rarer than the Topps version and prices vary greatly by condition.
The cost of packs back in the 1979-80 season? Twenty cents.