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What You Need to Know About Wayne Gretzky Rookie Hockey Cards

Wayne Gretzky played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Gretzky played with the Edmonton Oilers his rookie year from 1979-1980, and collectors primarily seek two versions of the card: one from O-Pee-Chee and one from Topps. The vintage O-Pee-Chee cards available on eBay are condition-sensitive due to the cutting methods the company used at the time.

Who manufactured Wayne Gretzky rookie cards?

Two separate companies produced cards for Wayne Gretzky's rookie season. The 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee hockey card is one of the most iconic cards of the sport. The 1979-1980 Topps Gretzky card has the same design and number as the first. On the back of the cards, the text on the Topps card is only in English. On the OPC card, the text appears in English and French.

Is the Gretzky trading card valuable among hockey trading cards?

Among collector cards for hockey, Wayne Gretzky's OPC rookie trading card is regarded as one of the most sought-after collector cards for the sport. The cards represent the career launch of one of the sport's greatest players.

How do you know a Wayne Gretzky card is authentic?

For those looking to buy a vintage 1979-1980 O-Pee-Chee Warne Gretzky card, it's important to know your card is genuine. Here are some things to look for when looking for an authentic Wayne Gretzky hockey trading card.

  • Check the shoulders: The original OPC card has a yellow ink marking, a sign of authenticity, on his left shoulder. The Topps version has a small yellow line in the same area.
  • Check the edges: The edges aren't likely to be crisp and clean. Cutting methods at the time of the cards' release involving the use of metal wire that would dull with use. As the wire became dull, the edges were less defined. While crisp, clean edges could mean the card is not authentic, it might also mean the card was made early in the process.
  • Photo quality: Counterfeit cards will appear at a lower resolution and might appear less defined and cloudy than authentic trading cards.
  • Blue stripes: There are light blue stripes that run along the back of the card only on the first print run but not the second run. These may provide a clue as to the card?s authenticity.
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