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Historic Hockey Card Case Sale Breaks Records at Heritage Auctions with $3.72 Million Bid

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An unprecedented sale of a 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey card case, featuring potential Wayne Gretzky rookies, at Heritage Auctions fetched $3.72 million, setting a new benchmark in sports memorabilia auctions.

A rare find of a full case of 1979-80 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards, speculated to contain several Wayne Gretzky rookie cards, achieved a remarkable sale price of $3.72 million at Heritage Auctions. Discovered in a Saskatchewan collector's stash, this case represents the only full case of its kind known to exist. After being unearthed from behind a massive collection, the case was authenticated and each box sealed by experts, ensuring its integrity.

This significant auction event saw a Canadian enthusiast placing the winning bid of $3.1 million, with the auction house's buyer's premium elevating the final price to $3.72 million. This sale not only dwarfed the previous record set by an unopened case of 1986-87 Fleer Basketball but also highlighted the growing market value of sports cards as collectible assets.

Among other notable sales in the auction was a PSA 8.5 graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which sold for $2.37 million, doubling the record price for its grade. The auction's total sales neared $26 million, with 2,700 bidders participating, showcasing the vast interest in rare and historic sports memorabilia.

In addition to the O-Pee-Chee case, the auction featured a range of sought-after items, including vintage Topps baseball boxes and a 1915 Boston Red Sox postcard with Babe Ruth, fetching $564,000. Notable memorabilia from hockey star Mike Bossy and a Hank Aaron jersey also found new owners, underscoring the diverse appeal of the auction items.

A unique piece of baseball history, a promotional poster from Albert Spalding's 1888-89 World Tour, exceeded expectations by selling for $240,000, revealing another layer of sports history previously unknown to many. The auction demonstrated Heritage Auctions' dedication to authenticity and the depth of the sports memorabilia market, marking a historic event for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

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