Cardboard Assets: The Howes 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA #1
Gordie Howe retired from NHL hockey after the 1970-71 season. Howe had been a member of the Detroit Red Wings since 1946 and his career was worthy of selection into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Three years later, Gordie came out of retirement to play in the World Hockey Association along with his two sons, Mark and Marty. The trio of Howe’s first played for the Houston Aeros in the 1973-74 season.
In 1974-75, O-Pee-Chee released their first series of WHA hockey cards. The first card in the series featured Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe on the front of the card and a short profile of each on the back. Today, this card is twice as valuable as any other card in that series.
The 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee #1 of the WHA series is currently valued at between $50 and $80, according to the Beckett Hockey Guide. There are three other cards in the series that max out at a $40 value. Two of these cards feature Bobby Hull and Jacques Plante. The third card is a checklist.
Despite the Beckett value, the card has sold for considerably less on eBay recently, going for as low as $12. Often, the card recently has gone through eBay auctions without a single bid. This is most likely due to the low condition of this card going on the market.
As for the two younger Howes, Mark had a great career in the WHA and NHL, retiring after the 1994-95 season. Mark began his career as a forward but was later converted to a defenseman. Howe played in two WHA All-Star games and four NHL All-Star games. Mark played for the Hartford Whalers, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings during his NHL career.
Marty Howe was a defenseman from the start and his career was less stellar than his father’s and brother’s. Marty appeared in 197 NHL games with the Hartford Whalers and Boston Bruins. He last played in the NHL during the 1984-85 season.
Gordie Howe, of course, is Mr. Hockey. Playing until the end of the 1979-80 season and retiring, again, at the age of 52, Howe still holds many records in the NHL. Gordie was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, before his return to hockey with Houston. Also dubbed Mr. All-Star, Howe played in 23 NHL All-Star games and two WHA All-Star games.
The 1974-75 WHA series is hard to get a hold of, especially in decent condition. No kid wanted WHA hockey cards back in the 1970’s. More often than not, these cards were used between the spokes on bicycle wheels are really good quality cards from this series are few and far between. To have a 1974-75 O-Pee-Chee #1 card is a great investment in cardboard.