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    The Great One at age thirteen

    1974 Wayne Gretzky Pee-Wee Hockey Player's Certificate Signed Six Times. The path to the sport's pantheon had begun when Wayne was just two years old, on a rink in the family's backyard named "Wally Coliseum" after his father Walter. At age six he was dominating ten year olds on the ice, staying true to his dad's mantra: "Skate where the puck is going, not where it's been." Always playing at a level years above his age, little Wayne tucked the oversized sweaters he was issued into his pants on the right side, a habit he continued throughout his NHL career.

    By the time he was thirteen years old, young Wayne had already recorded 1,000 goals in official competition, a staggering achievement that was widely covered in the newspapers of hockey-mad Ontario and officially established the scrawny kid from Brantford as the sport's Next Big Thing. Heritage had the good fortune of offering the hockey stick used by Wayne to flip that fourth digit on the odometer, the early relic garnering a final price of $38,838 in our August 2013 Platinum Night auction.

    It was around that time that Gretzky toted this "Player's Certificate" to the rink as official identification as a member of the Brantford Turkstra Lumber team. Wayne's thorough supremacy was a mixed blessing in those days, with even some of his teammates becoming resentful of the enormous attention that relegated all other players to mere supporting roles. Soon after the media circus came to town to mark the milestone, Gretzky's father arranged for Wayne to move to Toronto, partly to further his career and partly to escape the growing antipathy of the Brantford citizenry.

    Presented is one of just a handful of Gretzky relics to emerge from his childhood hometown, and one of his earliest autographed items known to exist. No fewer than six youthful signatures appear, two on front and four on reverse, with a seventh autograph from Wayne's father Walter, the man who set his son on the path to hockey immortality. All are applied in the boldest of ink to the 4x6" card issued by the "International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament" of Quebec, Canada. Typed text reports Gretzky's name, date of birth, address, jersey number and team.

    The Pee-Wee Quebec Tournament is hockey's equivalent to the Little League World Series, the sport's most prestigious youth event that draws an international field of teams by invitation only. Many current and former NHL stars are alumni of this tournament, thus it is widely and properly considered an essential breeding ground for future superstars.

    The card has been laminated and hole punched for filing in the Pee Wee hockey archives from which it was liberated some years later. It survives in NRMT condition and bears the holographic authentication sticker of "WG Authentic," and an accompanying letter stating that Gretzky personally examined the relic in 2002. WG Authentic letter of provenance & holographic sticker. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    More information about Wayne Gretzky.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,340

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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