1990-91 O-Pee-Chee #1 — Wayne Gretzky

90-91 OPC Gretzky 1This is the only card I know of featuring the Great One in an Indianapolis Racers jersey. I find this a bit odd considering the trend of putting retired stars in their lesser known team jerseys on cards a la Howe and their Whalers or Sakic and the Nordiques. Come to think of it, Bobby Hull played in virtually the same amount of games for the Whalers as Gretzky did the Racers and there’s a bunch of him in their sweater. I guess I should just chalk that up to the power of the Whale.

I really like how O-Pee-Chee kicked off this set with the three Gretzky tribute cards–one for each team he had played for up until that point. They tried it again the next year with Guy LaFleur but the cards were ugly and–no offense Canadiens fans–was LaFleur really that important? I’ve always gotten a kick out of the fake newspaper (the Indianapolis Press doesn’t exist) with the fake volume number and fake byline and the WEATHER: BRISK mention above the headline, as if that somehow adds to the authenticity of the paper.

Oh, and if anyone needs anything from this set I have literally a thousand doubles from a couple of vending packs I picked up at the flea market over the summer.

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8 thoughts on “1990-91 O-Pee-Chee #1 — Wayne Gretzky

  1. There are a couple others – the Neilson’s Dairy set from ’82-83 has at least one and I’ve seen a red-bordered card with him in a Racers uni – late 80s production, I’d guess.

    Here’s the red one: http://www.vintagehockeycardsreport.com/wayne-gretzky-indianapolis-racers/
    This is the Neilson’s card while the image lasts – it’s card #9: http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1982-83-Neilson-Wayne-Gretzky-Set-50-Copmplete-set-plus-wrapper-/00/s/Nzg4WDU3Ng==/$%28KGrHqN,!oME8Vb!EgeUBPTG%284WfHw~~60_35.JPG

  2. Comment frenzy here – you know what was sad about 1990-91 OPC? It was too little too late. Had this been released a year prior or had the umpteen other sets not come out at the same time, this goes down as one of their best efforts ever. As it was, it was just another set lost in the middle of the pack, and without an update or anything to distinguish it, it was doomed.

    • I knew about the rogue rookie card but I didn’t count it because it was unlicensed and fake. I didn’t know that the Neilson set had a Racers card! I had only seen the one from the WHA All-Star game with Howe.

      As for Lafleur, tributes are for the best of the best–Gretzky, Orr, Howe, Lemieux, and maybe a few others. I wouldn’t put Lafleur in that group. Maybe I’m too young and only remember him as a dinosaur with that awful Nordiques team but I still don’t think so. 😉

      90-91 OPC are great looking cards. The set is way too big though, especially with the Russians, lazy team cards, and the extra Russian inserts. Though I do love the Arturs Irbe one where they spell his name wrong.

      • As a child of the 70s, I can tell you that after Orr’s knees went, if there was one player you knew, it was Guy. He was the man. There was a car accident in the early 80s and he was never quite the same, but he was everything Crosby is and then some.

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