(Reuters) – NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky added another record to his long resume on Friday when The Great One’s collectable card from his rookie season fetched $1.29 million at auction, becoming the first hockey card to sell for more than $1 million.
A mint condition 1979 O-Pee-Chee card of Gretzky with the Edmonton Oilers during the 1978-79 season broke the previous high mark set by the same card, which sold for $465,000 in August 2016, according to NHL.com.
“Baseball has a much longer history and has a lion’s share of the sports collectors’ market as a whole, but hockey has its place, and Gretzky definitely goes on the Mount Rushmore of greatest of all time,” Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions told The Canadian Press.
“He’s right up there with Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan.”
The 59-year-old Canadian is the league’s all-time leading scorer and won four Stanley Cups in his Hall of Fame career. He is widely considered the greatest hockey player ever.
“We’re very excited and glad it got to (almost) $1.3 million,” Ivy said. “It very easily could have sold for $1.1 million and it just as easily could have sold for $1.6 million. It comes down to who’s willing to cut the check. It set a record… one more record to add to Wayne Gretzky’s tally.
“He deserves to have the highest-selling hockey card of all time.”
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; editing by Clare Fallon)