1981 Sports Illustrated #V55-16 Wayne Gretzky First Cover CGC Mint+ 9.4
Wayne Gretzky’s first Sports Illustrated cover story opens with the iconic magazine asking, “How good will he become?” And with 40 years of hindsight, it can be unequivocally answered: Better than anyone has ever seen. Graded Sports Illustrateds are a new phenomena within the hobby, with player’s first appearances on the cover likened to their rookie cards.
“The [Sports Illustrated] covers became iconic because they were a part of our daily lives; the emotional connection to those covers is just as strong today.”
– James Kehoe, GoCollect
Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed “The Great One”, is considered the greatest hockey player of all time. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-Star records.
He won 4 Stanley Cup Championships with the Edmonton Oilers. Some of the remarkable accomplishments from Gretzky’s career include: finishing with 894 goals and 1,963 assist (2,857 points), 15 NHL All-Star selections (8 First Team and 7 Second Team squads), nine Hart Trophies as the league’s best player, 10 Art Ross Trophies, two Conn Smythe Trophies and five Byng Trophies. Gretzky played for 4 teams (Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues) over the course of 20 seasons.