Collectors often dream about some of the unopened wax packs owned by Steve Sabow. Sabow is one of the hobby’s preeminent dealers of vintage wax packs. In fact, Sabow has sold more unopened vintage wax in the last three years than anyone else in the country.
I had the opportunity to speak with Sabow recently and found him to be an all-around great guy and a wealth of information in relation to buying and selling vintage wax packs. Sabow has been at this for a while; he started out selling cards at flea markets back in 1976 and started branching out into local card shows while also promoting several shows throughout the NY and CT area.
He’s been selling packs since the 1970’s, but it was only recently that he started getting heavily involved with vintage packs. In fact, Sabow credits his vintage card business as allowing him to stay alive in this hobby longer than most. He’s had a booth at the National Convention every year except for the first four.
Steve is retired now, but still quite active as a vintage card and wax pack dealer (although COVID-19 has slowed down business a bit). His list of packs for sale is one of the most impressive lists of packs I’ve ever seen. We’ve summarized our discussion with Sabow, providing some of the most important points for any collectors interested in vintage unopened wax.
In continuation of our coverage of the most valuable sports cards of all time (see our Baseball, Basketball and Football pieces) in this article we present the Most Valuable Hockey Cards of all time.
You might be suprised that a lot of your favorite hockey players didn’t make this list (such as Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy or Mario Lemieux) but unfortunately many of those late 70’s and early 1980’s hockey cards were produced in sizeable quantities, enough to make some of those high quality rookies mostly affordable.
We focused here on vintage hockey cards worth in excess of $6,000. The end list is 27 cards, and you’ll notice there are players that get a few places on the list–notably Howie Morenz, who has four of the most valuable hockey cards of all time.
Hopefully this will be a bit of a hockey history lesson for collectors as well – we’ve tried to provide a background on each player along with some of the videos which we believed best captured the essence of each player.
The good news is that while our cutoff line was $6,000 (normally in Excellent to NM condition), many of these vintage hockey cards can be found for a lot cheaper if you’re willing to sacrifice on grade a bit.
We try to update these lists every year, but if you see something that should be on the list, let me know via email at email@example.com.
The 1979-80 Topps (and corresponding O-Pee-Chee) Wayne Gretzky rookie card is one of the most iconic cards in the hobby.
‘The Great One’ as he is commonly referred is the NHL’s leading all time scorer, with more goals and assists than anyone in the history of the game.
His rookie card has forever been in huge demand, with his popularity among hockey card collectors akin to that of Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle in baseball. The easily chipped blue borders make for a tough find in nice condition.
But as demand increases for Gretzky rookie cards, so does the counterfeiting activity. While Gretzky’s O-Pee-Chee rookie card is more commonly counterfeited, this guide will examine both versions.
As always, buyer beware; we often recommend novice collectors opt for a graded version of a highly copied card such as the Gretzky rookie. Still, we’ve found both PSA graded Gretzky and Jordan rookies that were complete fakes. Thus it helps to be armed with as much information as possible before investing your hard earned dollars. Onto the guide!