1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Case Featuring Wayne Gretzky Rookie Cards Sells For Whopping $3.72 Million

A forgotten case of hockey cards inside a home in Canada has fetched millions of dollars at auction. The case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey sold for a staggering $3.72 million at Heritage Auctions on Saturday night. Why is it worth so much? Because it’s believed the case has over two dozen Wayne Gretzky rookie cards.

It’s exceedingly rare finding a pristine Gretzky rookie out in the open market — only two Gem Mint 10 O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie cards exist. Heritage ended up brokering a sale in May 2021 for a Gem Mint 10 Gretzky O-Pee-Chee rookie for $3.75 million — the most ever paid for a hockey card.

With 48 packs per box and 14 cards per pack, the case houses 10,752 pack-fresh cards.

“When considering that there are 396 cards in the set, a perfectly random assortment would suggest that about twenty-seven physically pristine Gretzky rookies are contained within this hefty brown cardboard case,” says Heritage Auctions in a media release.

The consignor found the multi-million-dollar case in a long-forgotten pile of boxes in his home in Saskatchewan. He had originally bought the case directly from a wholesaler.

The boxes were authenticated and sealed by Steve Hart’s Baseball Card Exchange.

“The family who have had this case for 40 some years, always assumed this was a 1980 case of hockey [cards],” Hart told CTV News Regina. “That’s not so bad [worth] $300,000 to $350,000, but one day someone finally asked them, ‘You might want to check and see what’s exactly in there.'”

No other unopened case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey has ever surfaced in the 21st century. Heritage believes it won’t happen again.

Heritage previously sold an unopened hobby box of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee Hockey for over $250,000.

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