Saturday, November 26, 2011

80-81 Topps - Wayne Gretzky

I personally don't have a list, but there are a few cards I really want to own before I die and the 80-81 Topps/OPC Gretzky card is one of them! When I had the chance to land one online for less than 20 bucks I thought I would jump at the chance. Of course, you can always land a Gretzky card for under 20 bucks, but I wanted one in great shape. Wanting a quality 80-81 Gretz means I probably would need to go for a Topps version and sure enough I landed one.

The card isn't mint. The scratch and reveal puck has a tiny bit of scuffing and the card is off-centered but, apart from that, there is nothing wrong with this card (unless you have a problem with the treat on the back). I took the photo of the card in the top-loader it arrived in because I don't have a screw-down for it yet.

The reason why I have always wanted to own the card is because it is a sweet photo. It is iconic to my childhood as a collector seeing it in the display cases of a few sportscard stores and not being able to afford it. But there is more, in my second life as a collector, I have come to realize that if there wasn't a WHA, this WOULD be a Gretzky rookie. In addition, Gretzky's rookie (correct me if I am wrong) actually features a photo from his WHA playing days so this card would actually feature The Great One during his first NHL season in which he SHOULD have won the Calder Trophy.

Here is the front side. You can see it is a bit of a miscut.

Here is the backside with a little waxy treat.
When I read that there was a Wax Stain on the card I knew I had to throw a minimum bid on this card. When I was the winner, I was probably as excited for this card as I have for any I have received in the last couple of years.

The card certainly has some significance to me because of years and wanting and in the short term it certainly will be the best Gretzky card I think I will own. I still am not in possession of a Gretzky rookie, but someday when the time is right I hope to get that one too.

So I am curious, do you have a list of must own cards? Or are you like myself and there are cards you want to own but there is no formal list. What cards are on that list?


  1. Great card, one that I would love to own as well.

  2. I've got all of the Gretzky's, several times over... but I want Dryden and Lafleur rc's.

    One day.

  3. I don't have a formal list either but the card I want the most right now is a 70-71 O-Pee-Chee Bobby Clarke rookie. I'm a big Clarke fan and would love to add that card to my collection.

  4. I've got an ever-expanding list of Howard cards I want, but the number one on it is still his 05-06 Cup ARP.

  5. Good question. I think a lot of the big cards that I wanted over the years has eroded. For the longest time, I wanted the 1983 Team Canada World Jr. Set that had pre-RCs of Lemieux and Yzerman. The Pro Set Stanley Cup hologram was another biggie for me.

    I'm mainly a set builder, so I try and track down singles.

    I would love to have a OPC Gretzky RC, but then again I am building the 79-80 OPC set. And one card I've been bidding unsuccessfully on is the 72-73 OPC card of Bobby Hull as a Jet...but eventually, I'll want all the cards in that set too.

  6. There are two, though I'm not really chasing either one at the moment. I just know they're out there and I'll have to deal with them someday.

    The first card of '52-53 Parkhurst is of the Rocket. Very tough. The other is the '54-55 Topps Howe. Can't work on that set without dealing with Gordie.

  7. Neat to hear the diverse wants...I of course hope all of you land them when the time is right!

    @Canuck, I am curious did you land them as a kid or did you get them after the collecting boom in the 90's?

    @Sal I actually wasn't really aware of those Team Canada cards, but after looking them up they seem pretty cool. I only saw front side shots, what was on the backs of them? I agree, wants often lead to set building to me as well...

    @67ers That Rocket card is a beauty. Do you have any specs that you want, ie condition when it comes to those two cards?

  8. Are you still looking for this can e-mail me at