The hockey stick that Wayne Gretzky used in 1974, at the tender age of 13, to score the 1,000th goal of his lifetime is expected to bring $20,000+ when it crosses the auction block in Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 1 as part of Heritage Auctions
Platinum Night Sports event.
"This stands alone as a unique and intriguing piece of memorabilia relating to the greatest name the NHL has ever featured," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. "For most great athletes, the milestones they hit as kids and teens are largely forgotten. The buzz around Gretzky, however, was already huge by the time he was 13, and the result was that his 1,000th goal got national coverage all over Canada when it happened."
A contemporary account in the April 11, 1974 edition of "The Expositor" of Brantford, ON, begins: "Wayne Gretzky got the puck inside the Waterford blueline and let go with a slapshot. The Waterford goalie got a piece of the puck but not enough to stop it from going into the net. Players rushed onto the ice and the game was held up for several minutes. Gretzky had scored his 1000th career goal."
The stick is being auctioned for the very first time, have descended in the family of Ron St. Amand, Gretzky's coach on the Brantford Turkstra Lumber squad, who Gretzky gave the stick to after the game, his boyish autograph in blue ink on the shaft, notated with a simple"1000th" in his hand.
"The very fact that such a tally was calculated from young Wayne's cautious first steps on the ice as a toddler should provide some indication of the grooming that went into Gretzky's rise to power," said Ivy. "It's a remarkable testament to the Gretzky family's obsession with the sport, as only the perfect brew of 'nature and nurture' could have spawned the greatest talent the sport has ever seen."