1951 Parkhurst Gordie Howe Rookie Card: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide
In this hobby, a Gordie Howe rookie card is high on any hockey card collector’s want list.
With a nickname like “Mr. Hockey”, how could it not be?
Howe’s importance to the game of hockey is practically unparalleled.
Known for his physical strength, longevity, and complete playing abilities, Howe would rack up amazing career achievements and set many records along the way.
Many of his records were later broken by Wayne Gretzky, but that has not affected the staying power that his rookie card has had in this hobby.
And in this guide we’ll discuss everything you need to know about collecting Gordie Howe rookie cards.
Gordie Howe Rookie Card Value
The first thing people usually ask is: how much is a Gordie Howe rookie card worth?
It’s actually one of the most valuable hockey cards of all-time…
If you find one graded by Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) in PSA 9 Mint condition then you’re looking at a five figure price tag.
PSA is considered to be the benchmark in the vintage card industry so collectors put heavy premiums on their graded cards.
According to the PSA SMR current market values are:
PSA 9 MINT: $50,000
PSA 8 NM-MT: $15,000
PSA 7 NM: $6,500
Distinction: This is the only recognized Gordie Howe rookie card and it is by far the key to the 1951 Parkhurst set that features rookie cards of Maurice Richard, Terry Sawchuck and many other Hall of Famers.
Number: This is card #66 in a set of 105 cards.
Design: The front of the card features color artwork of a young Howe in full Detroit Red Wings gear ready for action. Along the bottom you’ll see his full name “Gordon Howe” printed along with several statistics from the 1950-51 season. His card number 66 in the “Parkie” set, as it was nicknamed, is also called out along the bottom. The card measures 1-3/4″ by 2-1/2″ which is smaller than modern hockey cards.
Reverse Side: The reverse side of the card is blank.
Condition Issues: Like any vintage sports card, these can be difficult to find in high grade. But, because of the way they were produced, it can be even more difficult in this case. Believe it or not, 1951 Parkhurst hockey cards were cut by stacking multiple sheets on top of one another and cutting them with a guillotine all at once. Even more bizarre, the cards were then tossed into a cement mixer to mix them up and randomize them for packing and distribution. The thought of that is enough to make any collector cringe. While the company did its best to not package any cards dinged up by the cement mixer, many still inevitably made it through.
And the paper stock on which the cards are printed was incredibly fragile. Over time, this paper stock is also highly susceptible to fading. So, between the way they were produced and later handled by collectors, it can be extremely difficult to find a Howe rookie card in high grade.
Gordie Howe’s Legacy
Gordie Howe goes down in history as one of the game’s greatest of all-time.
His combination of physical talents, intelligence and drive would lead him to play professional hockey across six different decades. He made his debut during the 1946-47 season with the Detroit Red Wings and would later sign a one-game contract at 70 years old to play for the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League.
His list of career accomplishments is outstanding:
- 975 career goals (combining his totals from playing in both the WHA and NHL)
- 21 NHL All-Star appearances
- 6 Art Ross Trophies
- 6 Hart Memorial Trophies
- 4 Stanley Cups
Howe was an amazing talent and will forever be remembered for his complete playing ability and longevity.
That’s why Gordie Howe rookie cards remain some of the most sought after rookie cards in the vintage hockey card hobby today.