Lot 2017: 1979 Wayne Gretzky WHA Game Used Northland Rookie Stick from his 18th Birthday Game
Auction Date:5/31/2004 9:00 PM EST
A wooden witness to the first few months of the Great One’s career. Northland Registered Pattern “6961” with soiled white over black knob taping and a bare blade. Wayne’s “99” is marked high up on the shaft in black marker and both sides are stamped “Gretzky”. The bottom of the blade has been slightly shaved, a feature common on all of Wayne’s early Northland gamers, and a couple of brown burn spots on the fiberglass at the tip are evidence he applied the torch to tweak the curve. Nice game use with puck marks all along the blade and a few stick marks up the shaft. This example hails from an historic night in Wayne’s career. On the evening of January 26th, 1979 the Edmonton Oilers took pause to celebrate Wayne Gretzky’s 18th birthday. A table was set up at center ice and Wayne skated over to sign the famed 20-year, $20 Million Dollar contract… effectively making him the highest paid player of all time. Our consignor, a young boy at the time, was also celebrating his birthday that day and was delighted when he was invited down to the dressing room to meet his idol Wayne Gretzky. Wayne’s gift to the lucky birthday boy on this magical night was this game used Northland stick and it has remained in his possession from that day until now. One note regarding the pattern: this 6961 pattern predates the two known 6995 patterns in the hobby used while Wayne was with the Racers and is certainly earlier than the 7055 sticks he used in Edmonton. One can speculate as to when the stick was manufactured and used, but it is a certainty that it was gifted on January 26th, 1979 during a match in Edmonton. Comes with a detailed LOA from Brad Foote and a Letter of Provenance from consignor who received this amazing stick after an historical evening of hockey.
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