Mario Lemieux (10/05/65) is a legendary center who spent 17 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1984 to 2006.
Le Magnifique purchased the Penguins in 1999 and brought the franchise out of bankruptcy, while he still holds or shares numerous NHL records with the likes of Wayne Gretzky.
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Here’s a list containing three of the best Mario Lemieux rookie cards, as well as investment advice if you’re tempted to add a copy to your personal portfolio.
Best Mario Lemieux Rookie Cards
There wasn’t an abundance of NHL rookie cards released in 1985, so we’ll have space to list every early Lemieux collectible below.
1985 Mario Lemieux Topps RC #9
The 1985 Topps RC is a simple card, with an action shot of the player enclosed upon a white border.
There’s a Penguins logo in the top left corner, while Lemieux’s name and position are found on a yellow tab at the bottom. As his only US rookie card, you’d expect it to be expensive when looking at mint copies.
However, it’s outshone by the card listed below, for reasons that become apparent almost instantly.
1985 Mario Lemieux O-Pee-Chee Hockey RC #9
O-Pee-Chee is Topps’ Canadian counterpart and is often preferred when looking at older hockey cards. Many OPC cards (including this one) are bilingual, sharing both French and English text.
As there are no manufacturer logos on the front of the card, you’ll have to check out the back to be sure of which version you’re really looking at. OPC copies tend to be more expensive due to lower print runs, which leads to fewer gem mint copies in the present. (For example, there are 47 PSA 10 copies of the OPC card according to their registry, which rises to 75 when looking at the Topps version.)
1985 O-Pee-Chee Mario Lemieux Sticker #97
Continuing with the OPC theme, there was a sticker set released in 1985, containing a Lemieux collectible wrapped in a gold border.
The player is featured in his black and yellow Penguins jersey, with a number visible on his shoulder. It doesn’t match up to the others in terms of pure value, but it’s the most affordable option when looking at higher PSA grades.
Mario Lemieux Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Mario Lemeiux rookie card is the 1985 Mario Lemieux O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card and by a decent amount at high grades.
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Mario Lemieux Rookie Card Checklist
- 1985 Mario Lemieux RC Topps
- 1985 Mario Lemieux RC O-Pee-Chee
- 1985 O-Pee-Chee Mario Lemieux Sticker RC #97
Mario Lemieux Rookie Cards: Buyers Rating and Investment Outlook
Lemieux is a true GOAT, and it’s clearly shown by the value of his rarest rookie cards. More than a typical Penguins legend, he battled back from Hodgkin’s disease and a variety of different injuries and ailments over the years, which held him back from achieving even greater numbers in the long run.
Investment Outlook: Buy (4.7 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
Best Mario Lemieux Rookie Card: We feel the 1985 Mario Lemieux O-Pee-Chee Rookie Card is the best of his rookie cards in regards to future ROI.
A six-time Art Ross Trophy winner (1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997), he also has five Stanley Cup wins as a player/owner. If you can afford one of the higher grades, his RCs are highly recommended as some of the best from the era.