Cardboard Asset: 1970-71 Darryl Sittler O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card
Darryl Sittler was first enshrined on a piece of cardboard in the 1970-71 O-Pee-Chee hockey set. Sittler’s Rookie card with the Toronto Maple Leafs was a bit of a rarity at the time, being produced during his rookie season in the NHL and not the following season which was normally the case. The card was number 218 in the set and was not included in the Topps set in the United States.
How much is this forty year old 2 ½ by 3 ½ piece of cardboard today? The latest issue of Beckett Hockey (the leader in sports card price guides) has this card selling between a low of $75 and a high of $100 in mint condition. Not bad for a card that cost the original buyer about one or two cents back in 1970.
Recently on e-Bay, the card sold for less than Beckett’s low value but not by much. Excellent to near mint cards were bought from $57 to $69. A low grade card that was off-centred with creases, soft corners and pencil marks sold for the low, low price of $11.
Why is this card of such value? Simple. Darryl Sittler is an NHL Hall of Famer (inducted in 1989), one of the best and most popular players to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey and an all-around classy ambassador to the game of hockey.
Sittler played his junior hockey in the OHA with the London Knights for three seasons between 1967-68 and 1969-70. His best season offensively was his second when he contributed 99 points in 53 games for a mediocre London team.
Darryl was drafted by the Maple Leafs in the first round of the 1970 NHL draft, eighth overall. In that first season with Toronto, 1970-71, a broken wrist limited him to just 49 games. Sittler would, of course, recover and go on to a fifteen year NHL career with Toronto, the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. He ended his career with 1121 points over 1096 games.
It was with Toronto where Darryl earned his Hall of Fame status. Sittler was named team captain at the start of the 1975-76 season after Dave Keon jumped to the World Hockey Association. He was the first Toronto Maple Leaf to reach the 100 point plateau with exactly 100 in 1975-76. He would beat that mark in 1977-78 with 117 points, good for third in the NHL.
The four time NHL All-Star still has his name written in the NHL record books. On February 1, 1976, Darryl Scored six goals and added four assists against the Boston Bruins. That ten points is still the most by a player in a single regular season game.