June 2005 > Sports > Wayne Gretzky
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Lot 2006: Wayne Gretzky Last Game Signed Stick
This historic stick (one of 51 he used that last game) used by The Great One in his final game on April 18, 1999 at Madison Square Garden -- and signed by Gretzky, no less -- provokes the same happy/sad vibe as would the last bat Babe Ruth swung, the last basketball Michael Jordan shot, or the last football Johnny Unitas ever threw. Such is the power of these ultimate symbols of the greatest players their sports have even known that they make even the most hard-bitten of fans into sentimental dweebs recalling the achievements of these men and knowing we'll never see their like again. For Gretzky, the 55" Hespeler HMP fiberglass stick surely has mythical properties, given that in his day he upped the single-season scoring record from 152 to 215 points (to do that, Jordan would have had to average 71 points a game!) and broke Gordie Howe's assists record in 1,086 fewer games than Howe took to set it. If you feel a certain tingle in the wood, don't be surprised. Stick has "Gretzky" in capital letters embedded on the handle above the area of wrapped green tape. Blade segment is coated smooth and glossy. A few specks but no splinters or cracks. The bold and bright NRMT signature "Wayne Gretzky 99" is on the blade in black marker, an unimaginable bonus for a stick so significant. It's only a shame Wayne had to go out on a downer, suffering from a neck injury with a bad Ranger team. But who knows, he's still young, so, a la Mario Lemieux, maybe No. 99 will be No. 1 again. Only he can't have the stick back. It now belongs to the ages.
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