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Wayne Gretzky was awarded "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated on December 27, 1982. This accolade further solidified Gretzky's status as a hockey legend and recognized his extraordinary contributions to the game.

Following his retirement in 1999, Gretzky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, making him the most recent player to have the waiting period waived. A testament to his impact on the sport, the NHL retired his jersey number 99 league-wide, a rare honor reserved for only the greatest of players.

One of Gretzky's most remarkable achievements came during the 1981-82 season when he shattered a long-standing record. Maurice "Rocket" Richard had set the record of scoring 50 goals in 50 games during the 1944-45 NHL season, a feat later matched by Mike Bossy in the 1980-81 season. However, Gretzky's unparalleled talent allowed him to accomplish this remarkable milestone in just 39 games, surpassing his predecessors with grace and finesse.

December 30, 1981, marked a significant moment in Gretzky's career, as he scored his 50th goal of the season in the final seconds of a thrilling 7-5 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers. This goal was also his fifth of the game, showcasing his incredible skill and dominance on the ice.

But Gretzky's record-breaking season didn't stop there. On February 24, 1982, he surpassed another milestone by breaking Phil Esposito's record for the most goals in a single season. With three goals in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, Gretzky helped secure a 6-3 victory and set a new record of 76 goals.

By the end of the 1981-82 season, Gretzky had achieved an astonishing 92 goals, 120 assists, and 212 points in just 80 games. This made him the first and only player in NHL history to surpass the two hundred-point mark in a single season. His remarkable performance earned him the prestigious title of Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, the first time a hockey player and a Canadian had received such recognition.

In addition to these accolades, Gretzky was also named the 1982 "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated, further solidifying his place among the greatest athletes of all time. The Canadian Press also recognized his exceptional impact by naming him Newsmaker of the Year in 1982, a testament to the profound influence he had on the world of sports.

The Great One’s legacy as a hockey icon is unmatched, and his remarkable achievements continue to inspire future generations of athletes. His skill, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game have forever cemented his place in history, making him a true legend in the world of sports.

Dec. 27, 1982 Sports Illustrated Wayne Gretzky "Sportsman of the Year" – CGC 7.0
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Final prices include buyers premium.: $120
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