SCP Auctions April 2011 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
PLEASE NOTE: All of the consignors net proceeds from the sale of this item will go to the Feinstein National Campaign to Fight Hunger.
In 1977, the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey Association picked a 16 year old Wayne Gretzky, standing at 5 ft 8 in. and weighing 155 pounds, with the third pick in the Ontario Midget Draft. He was still small in stature, but would have a big impact on the game. Gretzky requested to wear number 9 after his idol Gordie Howe, but that number was already taken by line mate Brian Gualazzi. Gretzky then chose number 19 instead. After a few games, coach Muzz MacPherson suggested wearing two nines would be better than one. From that season on, Gretzky has always worn the legendary number 99. In 63 games that year, he set the Greyhounds all-time record, scoring 70 goals and had 112 assists for a total of 182 points. Gretzky would have won the scoring title, except for a 192 point season by Bobby Smith. Gretzky was awarded the Emms Family Award as the rookie of the year, and the William Hanley Trophy as most gentlemanly player.
Offered here is Gretzky’s 1977 contract to play for the Soo Greyhounds signed by him when he was 16 years old. The contract called for Gretzky to receive $25 per week plus a $40 weekly stipend for “Accommodation” expenses for a four-year period through the 1980-81 season. Gretzky’s abilities would not allow for him to fulfill the full term of the contract. In 1978, he signed with the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA, where he briefly played before debuting with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979. The rest, as they say, is history. "The Great One," is generally regarded as the greatest hockey player who ever lived. Upon his retirement from the NHL on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All-Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. Gretzky's jersey number 99, which he first donned at age 16 with the Soo Greyhounds in 1977, has been retired by every team in the National Hockey League. This historic document was torn in half at some point and repaired with clear tape. It’s display quality is largely unaffected. Its historical significance is undeniable. Gretzky’s dark ballpoint signature rates 9 out of 10. Pre-certified by PSA/DNA.