Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards Checklist and Hockey Memorabilia Guide

Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards Checklist and Hockey Memorabilia Guide

Wayne Gretzky's accomplishments and statistics, speak for themselves. However, collectors have just two Wayne Gretzky rookie cards to chase. Both the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee and 1979-80 Topps cards are virtually identical.

Because he is such a celebrated athlete, Gretzky also has a couple of other pieces of early ephemera that are very desirable. His over-sized 1977-78 Sportscasters card is part of a massive multi-sport series that covered sports from all over the world. Tough to find in good condition because they were often pinned to walls, Gretzky's 1979-80 Oilers Postcard features an in-action shot of "The Great One" with a black-and-white photo.

To check out some of his other key cards, be sure to visit our Real-Time Wayne Gretzky Card Hot List.Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards Checklist and Hockey Memorabilia Guide 1

Signed and game-used Wayne Gretzky memorabilia commands a premium on the secondary market. Gretzky has been a long-time exclusive athlete of the Upper Deck Company. UDA pieces are definitely the safest way to go for signed pieces. His game-worn jerseys (that aren't in either the Hockey Hall of Fame or his personal collection) seem to set new records at auction every time they change hands. Signed sticks, pucks, jerseys, photos and more are available through multiple retail channels.

See also: Top Wayne Gretzky Cards to Collect

Rookie Cards

Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards

1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky RC #18

One of the most iconic hockey cards ever produced, Gretzky's most important rookie card is his 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey. The easily damaged blue borders and notoriously low tech cutting methods used by the company make this an extremely condition-sensitive card. Versions that are legitimately high-grade grab premiums. Over the years, this card has been counterfeited, which might make cards graded by major grading companies an option to consider for added peace of mind. Check out some tips on spotting fakes.

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1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky RC #18

The 1979-80 Topps Hockey Gretzky rookie features the exact same design and number as its OPC cousin. The biggest difference can be found on card backs where the text is just in English on the Topps card and both English and French on the OPC version. As is usually the case when there are both Topps and O-Pee-Chee versions of a hockey card, the Topps card is valued the lesser of the two. However, when you're looking at a hockey card of this stature, Gretzky's Topps rookie is still very much in demand.

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Autographs

Wayne Gretzky Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find examples of what an authentic Wayne Gretzky autograph looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Wayne Gretzky has an exclusive contract with Upper Deck and Upper Deck Authentic for his signature. However, some of the other trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market that may have authenticated items signed in-person, include: PSA, JSA, Tristar, Steiner and Mounted Memories. 

Cut Signature Exemplar

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Wayne Gretzky Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Wayne Gretzky signature will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1.  The over-sized letter "W" is well pronounced
  2. The pen comes off the paper for the remaining letters of his first name
  3. The letters "a" and "y" form a hybrid
  4. The letter "n" is non-existant
  5. The letter 'e" usually shows as a closed loop
  6. The letter "G" is about the same height as the letter "W" and is well pronounced
  7. The remaining lettres display quite the flourish, particularly the "z-k-y"
  8. The letter 'z" crosses the letter "t", goes directly into the letter "k" and finishes the letter "y"
  9. His jersey number #99 is often present and usually underlined

Signed Puck Pricing:

Active Listings for Wayne Gretzky Signed Pucks

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Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Wayne Gretzky Signed Jerseys

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Signed Stick Pricing:

Active Listings for Wayne Gretzky Signed Sticks

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Signed 8x10 Pricing:

Active Listings for Wayne Gretzky Signed Photographs

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Fan Shop

Wayne Gretzky Fan Shop Apparel and Souvenir Guide

Wayne Gretzky has been the face of hockey nearly since his arrival in the NHL in 1979. With multiple Stanley Cup Championships on multiple teams and single-handedly rewriting the record book, Gretzky has no shortage of fans. Having played in a number of teams has endeared him to fan bases in Edmonton, Los Angeles, New York and St. Louis. With heavy involvement in Team Canada, he is literally a national hero. As such, Gretzky has no shortage of jerseys, framed pieces, figures and other fan items.

Jerseys and Apparel

Manufacturers: Reebok, CCM, Nike, Mitchell & Ness

Reebok is currently the officially licensed provider for NHL jerseys. Their top of the line EDGE Authentic jersey is just like what the pros wear which includes an authentic fight strap sewn into the jersey. It's made of a water-repellant, 250-gram double-knit polyester spandex fabric. Each jersey features sewn twill numbers, names, patches and team logos. They also include the NHL shield sewn on the bottom of the front collar, and the Reebok name embroidered on the back of the neck.

The Reebok Premier jersey is made of a tight weave mesh fabric and features tackle twill letters, numbers, logos and patches. The Reebok logo is embroidered and the collar is a soft rib-knit. Both jerseys are available in home, road and third jersey alternate varieties, the Premier jersey is a detailed replica of the ones the pros wear.

Additionally, Mitchell & Ness and Reebok each have a line of retro, Throwback jerseys that commemorate Gretzky's Stanley Cup-winning days in Edmonton and Los Angeles. Reebok's Center Ice Collection has jerseys for many of the teams Gretzky played for. You can also find authentic vintage jerseys made during his playing days that were manufactured by CCM.

Shop for Wayne Gretzky Jerseys

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Bobbleheads and Figures

When your nickname is "The Great One", you can be sure that many a company will be wanting to homage in the form of figures and bobbleheads. Several companies have produced figures and bobbleheads of Gretzky through the years, with some of the more common manufacturers listed below.

Manufacturers: (Figures) - Upper Deck, McFarlane, Starting Line-up, Mattel (Bobbleheads) - Forever Collectibles, Fanatics, SGA

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Photographs, Posters and Prints

Wayne Gretzky rewrote the NHL record book and along the way, photographers were there to document every goal and championship. As such, Gretzky has a wide array of wall decor and images available to dress up any man-cave, office or child's room. You can find photos of all sizes, posters, framed and matted pieces and more, you'll be sure to find a bragging rights piece for the Gretzky fan in your life. Some of the more notable rights holders are listed below.

Rights Holders: PhotoFile, Photomint, Frameworth, Highland Mint, Upper Deck, Fanatics

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More Info

Learn more about Wayne Gretzky cards and collectibles with these in-depth guides:

And for even more, check out:


Rob Bertrand


Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

User Comments

  1. Hi…I purchased a nice OPC gretzky rc and am wondering if it’s been trimmed.
    Do you happen to know the measurements of the cards for that year?
    Thanks.

  2. I have a Gretzky rookie card (that I think is Topps, but am not sure.) It is in impeccable condition and has been in a screwed-tight plastic case as long as I’ve owned it. How do you suggest I get an estimated value — and then sell it?

    Thank you!

  3. 1980-81 oiler team set distributed one day at zeller’s stores. Cards 5×7 includes Wayne gretzky..blank back…any idea of the value.I have never seen any for sale.
    Thnaks

  4. I’m looking to buy a wayne gretzky rookie card if anyone has one to sell.

    It would be super cool to have one as part of my collection!

  5. I have a complete set of the 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee NHL cards (all teams) including the edmonton oilers and the Gretzky Rookie card. Cards Vary in condition.

    Would it be better to try and sell it as a complete set or part it out. Get the Gretzky card condition rated….

    not sure what to do with them…

    thanks
    -kevin

  6. I have a Gretzky signed hockey stick that was a prize from a Mr Big chocolate bar contest. I can’t find any info online. (I also have 2 rookie cards. Not mint but good condition).

  7. Hi i have some post cereal gretzky rookie cards still in plastic 4 sale along with various. Other hocky cards up to and around 30 years old .tex me for pics and more info serious
    Inquires only please.at. 506-210-3201 nb canada. Ty.

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