I found myself in a situation where I had a decent chunk of change to spend on cards. Instead of buying a bunch of wax to bust, which would provide some temporary entertainment but probably ultimately be a disappointment, I decided to add a cornerstone card to my hockey collection. I researched, hemmed and hawed, narrowed my focus, bid and missed on quite a few auctions. After a few months I finally made my decision and pulled the trigger:
I went with a graded 1979-80 Topps Wayne Gretzky rookie card. This card (or its O-Pee-Chee counterpart) is easily one of the most recognizable hockey cards ever, and one I've wanted in my collection ever since I began collecting a few years back. There are a few reasons I decided to go with this particular card. First and foremost, it's much cheaper than the 79 O-Pee-Chee rookie. While I did have a chunk of change to spend, it wasn't that big. To be honest though, I am just as happy with the Topps card. When I first collected as a kid in the late 80's/early 90's, Topps hockey was what I collected. Yes, I know all about O-Pee-Chee's glossier cards and larger sets, but Topps is what I was familiar with.
Aside from that, 79-80 OPC/Topps is one of my favorite set designs of all time. These cards are just classic, and the backs are as good if not better than the fronts:
When you combine one of my favorite hockey sets of all time with the rookie card of the greatest player of all time, you've got a winner. I firmly believe that some of the many records Gretzky holds are the least likely to ever be broken in all of professional sports.
This card is an absolute classic and one I will always hold on to no matter what happens with the rest of my collection!