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    1979 Topps Wayne Gretzky #18 Rookie PSA Gem Mint 10--Population Two! While the O-Pee-Chee version of the sport's most essential trading card is commonly and understandably considered somewhat more desirable than those produced to the south of the Canadian border, this American representation is actually slightly rarer at this grade. The full population of Topps exemplars housed within a PSA slab is about five hundred larger than OPC, but each issuing body has just twice achieved the grading service's highest honor. By virtue of pure, bloodless mathematics, the Topps Gretzky rookie has seen a smaller percentage of its submissions showcased beneath a Gem Mint 10 label than the O-Pee-Chee.

    The enhanced value of the OPC is typically chalked up to its shared national heritage with its subject, who remains to this day the most famous Canadian on the planet. But it could absolutely be argued that Wayne Gretzky did more for the sport of hockey in the States than he possibly could have in a nation where kids can skate before they can walk. It took the most contentious transaction in NHL history to turn Los Angeles into a hockey town, and it's never looked back since.

    Beyond the variation in paper stock and the bilingualism of the Canadian model, the primary difference between the OPC and Topps Gretzky rookie was the cutting mechanism utilized to separate sheets of cards into their individual components. Here, the Americans had the clear edge, if you'll excuse the pun. While a relatively dull wire was used in the Canadian factory, fine American blades did the work here in the States, thus more effectively dodging the "rough cuts" of its northern neighbors.

    Compare this card with the Gem Mint 10 OPC likewise on offer in this auction and you'll spot the slight difference. The edges here are as smooth as the teenaged face of the card's subject. Keep hunting for any cause for complaint and you'll only come up empty, as the registration and centering hit the bullseye, and the corners remain untouched by human hands. In just over seven thousand attempts, this is one of just two to occupy the PSA throne, a fact that should make the investment-minded hobbyist sit up and take notice.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    10th-13th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 39
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,953

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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