Sports Illustrated Blog #49 – New Highest CGC Grade Star SI Covers Hit the Market.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Each month, one or two new CGC Highest Graded Star Sports Illustrated Covers find their way into the hobby census.  Such are the dynamics of our growing, evolving graded magazine hobby.  

Three years ago, new highest grades for SI’s entering the market were a common ordinary occurrence but as the census has grown from less than 100 graded SI’s to several thousand, eclipsing an old, highest grade star cover has become less and less frequent.  Currently the hobby is absorbing, on average, approximately one or two per month, at best. 

In fact, I predict that, with extreme few exceptions, the grade on 99% of pre-1980, CGC 9.4 star covers will NEVER be beaten. These issues are so rare that CGC 9.0 and CGC 9.2 star covers for this era (especially those printed in the “dark era” – mid 56 thru 69) have become accepted as the gold standard for condition.  Eclipsing a CGC 9.0 or 9.2 today is a significant find.

Just like the graded card hobby, as the graded magazine hobby organizes and actual off-line buy prices become public, more highest grade submissions will surface.  However, the rate of new highest grade submissions will be just up to the level that attracts the supply and demand competition so healthy for a growing hobby.

One comment on off-line buy prices – currently off-line buy prices have not leaked to the public as of yet because investors are still enjoying artificially low buy prices and want to keep it that way as long as possible.  Rarely, if ever, does one see any auction house selling a highest grade star SI cover.  Same characteristic in the card market – rarely does one of the top cards come to auction.  I know this about off-line SI investing because I’m the market seller.

When the actual off-line buy prices become documented, it is then that the graded magazine hobby will heat up exponentially and you’ll be very glad you bought in early.  There will be more buyers than sellers and in collectibles that phenomenon is what drives the hobby to the next level.

As a graded SI collector and investor, I find this stuff sooo exciting – operating within an almost untapped frontier.  How many times in life does this kind of opportunity come along?  Even now, my readers tell me they wished they’d have joined the party when they first started reading this blog. 

Every day is a new adventure.  These old SI’s are so colorful they just jump out at you from inside the professionally designed CGC presentation case.  They tell a story, a history and chronology of events we saw with our own eyes. 

Sports Illustrated is the TOPPS of sports publications – it’s a Cadillac.   That’s why it’s is so popular – it has the tangibles AND the intangibles.  What a journey in just three short years!

 Here are a few of the new, highest grade, star covers joining the census in the past two months.

In the top ten for most coveted SI cover. I’ve been waiting for this one for over 20 years. Previous high grade CGC 8.5 – mine. Four sharp corners and nice cover finish. Dark Era Print. Most copies could not stand the test of time. This one is a GEM.
Gail Sayers’ only SI cover. Previous high grade CGC 9.0. Dark Era Print. Most newsstands, if you can find one, feature poor quality. Cover scratches and wears quickly. Staples tend to pull out as the issue is twice as thick as normal issues.
Al Rosen. One of four SI issues with baseball card prints. Previous high grade – CGC 9.2. If you want to own the the registry of the four highest issues with baseball cards, you need this one.
Joe Montana Super Bowl 1982. Previous high CGC 8.0. TIME magazines seem to have a tendency to wear quicker than SI. This is a tough find as seen by previous highs.
Rod Carew. Ted Williams called him the best hitter in baseball. I saw him play and I agree. Previous high CGC 8.5. Most covers do not hold up well. That’s the reason for the large jump in grade.
The leader of the Broad Street Bullies. Three time league MVP. Previous high 9.4 – mine. Originated from the same find.
The G.O.A.T – Back in the day, Nicklaus was on a quest to own all four majors. Where have we heard that before?
The Tyler Texas Cyclone. Earl Campbell epitomized the bruising running back. He’s now paying the price.
Roger Bannister. Tough issue to find in nice condition because it was the first issue, front copy, of the year. Many copies suffered as a result. Previous high – CGC 8.0.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

  For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit 

www.sportsillustrated98.com

Sports Illustrated Blog #48 – CGC Top Registry Award for SportsIllustrated9.8

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

SportsIllustrated9.8 has just received the “2019 Registry Award for Outstanding Achievement on Building the Top Ranked Set in the CGC Registry”.

Registries are an integral component of the card collecting hobby but virtually an unknown within the graded magazine hobby.  It’s time we changed that.

First, let’s define what a registry is and its relative importance to the hobby.  A registry is a set of graded items of any criteria – any items, any quantity, or any value that typically have some relationship to each other.  For ex. – all SI baseball covers pre 1980 or, all SI Sportsman of the Year issues or, the top ten home run hitter SI covers – anything of interest to you and/or other collectors.

Most hobbyists like to showcase their collections.  In many cases, considerable sums of time and money are devoted to chasing, locating, negotiating, organizing, comparing, displaying, marketing etc etc etc. one’s collection in an effort become recognized as the leader or the best or the most valuable.

One way to achieve recognition is to submit your proposed registry (all or part of your graded collection) to CGC for certification and listing.  Once your submission is confirmed and certified, CGC will add it to the appropriate category (with a title and include all submissions individually) within their overall registry list.  Currently, there are 10’s of 1000’s of registries all vying for individual recognition.

Recognition follows as registries also receive a grade and are ranked according to values assigned to the individual grades.  Each individual registry and each of its components can be viewed by any CGC society member.  If you are interested in finding out who owns certain graded items or who collects items that may be of interest to you either to buy, sell, or compare, periodically checking the registry list is a good way to develop contact information.  In this way, registries help organize the hobby and any contribution in this area is a good thing.

SportsIllustrated9.8, that’s me, won this year’s Magazine Category, for its submission of the first 25 years of the highest graded Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues.  You can locate the issues and grades achieved in the current registry list, if interested.   I will be submitting more SI registries throughout the coming year as a way to further organize and promote the hobby. 

I hope you have found this information helpful in your pursuit of all things Sports Illustrated.  If you would like to know more about CGC registries feel free to contact me with any question you might have.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #47 – Graded SI’s a Hit at the NSCC Show in Chicago.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

For my readers interested in graded SI trends, I have much to report. 

Five days exhibiting in Chicago proved to be much of what I expected – lots of questions and starry eyed intrigue.  The “National”, as it is called by the annual attendees, consists mostly of window shoppers, curious strollers out for a day away from home, and autograph seekers.  But also, there is a dedicated group of serious buyers that come from the four corners of the USA to buy or collect anything and everything.  Don’t let the low key, good ol’ boy conversations fool you, there is some high stakes, serious money at this show and they say if you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist.

Our reason for attending the show was simple – to introduce the hobby of graded magazine collecting to as many and as much of the world as possible.  Yes, if I sold something that would be nice too.   I spoke with about 100 former/current card collectors interested in finding the next new investment potential.  I answered questions mostly regarding an explanation of the hobby, added 50-100 names to my blog, and took in a few new customers too.  Here’s hoping that the 100 interested parties with which I spoke will each tell 10 friends of their encounter and we’re off to the races.

Once the world understands that collecting graded SI’s is much the same concept as collecting graded cards, there will be an urgency to buy in as early as possible.    

Investors are intrigued by is the newness of the opportunity.  I heard over and over, investors have been mired within a very stable card collecting market and there is a pent-up demand for the next big new thing.  Card prices are almost like currency.  You can count on them.    If you have a Grade 6, 52 TOPPS Mantle, it is worth x amount given within a small range.  The only variation is at the very top end of the spectrum.

Graded SI’s are something quite different.  First of all, SI is the TOPPS of magazines.  It’s one of a kind – nothing out there like it.  That’s a big plus to collector’s seeking to find any small advantage. 

Imagine, it’s the year 1979 when you could buy a 52 TOPPS Mantle, in any grade, for $100.  That’s where we are in Graded magazines.  I started grading SI’s three years ago.  I began blogging and educating on the subject two years ago.  In that time, I have bought, graded and sold the top graded, most popular SI’s known to the hobby, many at a tenth of today’s value.  That’s been the price trajectory over these two years. 

But interestingly, even with early values skyrocketing, none – not one, of my highest value sales has ever been re-auctioned.  Why is this you say?  It is because investors make money by understanding the product life cycle – knowing when to buy and when to sell – and we are definitely on the front side of “Buy and Hold”.  If you are interested in an opportunity to invest in the latest, high grade acquisitions before they are made available to the hobby, send a request to be added to my investor list.

In fact, the whole graded SI concept has become so intriguing to early investors they can’t get enough – within 24 hours of my acquiring new high grade SI inventory – it is sold.  If there is a problem, it’s that the supply continues to fall short of demand.

That is the reason I have devoted such an effort to educate the world to the hobby.  I want you, my readers, to be the first exposed to the opportunity on the front side of the curve.  If you are someone who’s been weighing that investment decision, I think the simple fact that investors are buying but NOT selling, should be received as a very positive indicator.  

So the recap of the show is:

  1. SportsIllustrated98 was the first and only exhibitor devoted to graded magazines ever to attend the National.
  2. 100 more interested collectors have been brought into the family, and in time, we hope each will tell 10 friends.
  3. There’s still time to get in on the front end of the investment cycle.
  4. I saw nothing at the show in conflict with anything I have been saying.  My opinion – the hobby interest level will be advanced in the next year at least 3-5 times the interest level today.

I hope you have found this blog consistent with my stated intentions – to educate my readers as to the evolving status of the hobby.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #46 – Most Collectable SI Covers Organized By Year.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

One the most FAQ posed by my readers is “How do I match the most collectable covers to the years of their print?”

In previous blogs, I have published such lists as “a ranking of the most popular covers”, “the rarest covers overall”, and a general pricing guide reflecting up to date pricing trends.  Matching the most collectable covers to their years of print will help a collector when he or she is confronted with an inventory sale from a certain defined era.

For example, the conversation may go something like this – Seller – “What specifically are you looking for?”  Buyer – “What years do you have?”   Seller – I have from 1954 thru 1962.”  Boom! You know exactly which collectable covers could be included.

This list is by no means final, but it’s complete enough to get you started.  You can add to it with your own preferences.  Here they are. 

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #44 – The National Sports Collector’s Convention – the Big Daddy of the Card and related collectables forum.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Thanks for your SI interest.  It’s on to the NCSS. 

Booth # 482

It’s about time the graded magazine hobby made a splash into the National Sports Collector’s Convention Show in Chicago July 31st week.  No exhibitor has ever fully outfitted their exhibit with graded magazines.  That tradition is coming to an end this year. 

SportsIllustrated98 will be making its first appearance at the premier sports card show of 2019 with an exciting display of hundreds of your favorite Sports Illustrated covers, many graded POP 1 none higher.

Since 1979, the NCSS has provided a platform upon which collectors from all over the world could come to buy/trade baseball, football, and every other card known to man.  If you’re a sports hobbyist and want to learn more about what’s out there – you’ll find it here.

SportsIllustrated98 – that’s me – will be booth #482.  Our space will be furnished with the coolest, most colorful, most in demand graded SI’s known to the hobby.  The one’s you’ve been asking about, your favorite player in the highest grade – all priced like the Model T – every home should have one.   One caveat – most pieces are one of a kind and their grades will never be beaten – in my opinion.   Once they’re sold – they could be gone for a very long time.  Collector’s rarely turn over the best pieces.

My goal is to expand and draw recognition to the hobby – to put a graded magazine into the hands of every collector that wants one – big and small.  There will be plenty of opportunities to make that happen.

Here is a sampling of the pieces on exhibit. 

Note:  Every cover is a complete, newsstand magazine.  That’s all you’ll find here.

  1.  Hundreds of graded SI’s with a guarantee to have at least 100 “POP 1, None Higher” included.  All grades guaranteed.
  2. Tons of first covers – The 2nd highest graded 56 Mantle SI and 53 TIME, the highest 36 DiMaggio and 49 Musial (TIME), the highest Brett, Schmidt, Brady, James, Tiger, Erving, 2nd highest Rose, 3rd highest Jordan.
  3. Hundreds of the top 100, most in demand, raw SI first cover superstars – Mantle, Mays, Clay, Rose, Aaron, Clemente, Jackson, early Swimsuits, Brown, Unitas and all the rest – every superstar SI cover you can imagine – all encapsulated to protect condition forever!  SportsIllustrated98 is the only seller that goes to this expense.
  4. For the Mantle enthusiast – a really cool, triple mag set (Mantle’s 56, 57, 65 mags), all in one frame, all high grade.  Frame, High Tech Plexiglas (protects against sunlight), and mags professionally laid out and assembled specifically for this exhibit.  You’re gonna like this one.  Special orders taken on other items for framing.
  5. Special orders will be taken for graded and raw magazines back at the ranch.
  6. No Ebay fees, taxes, or auction premiums.  My pricing is competitive anywhere within the hobby.  Discounts will be available on multiple purchases.

Send me a note (wylliejohn@yahoo.com) to reserve an appointment to discuss your interests, put together a deal, ask a question or perhaps you’d like my advice/opinion regarding the hobby.  Sign up to receive my SI blog – the first and only on the web.

Everyone is invited – it’s going to be a blast.  Looking forward to seeing you at booth #482.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #43 – Latest Update on CGC Grading Trends – Part 2.

Sports Illustrated Blog #43 – Latest Update on CGC Grading Trends – Part 2.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Thanks for your SI interest.  The scoop we all want to know.  What is CGC up to these days regarding magazines?

Quick recap from blog #42.

  1. Pre-1980 SI grades of 9.0, 9.2, or 9.4 are very secure in their grading rank. 
  2. Magazines seem to have a condition factor after 40 years.
  3. The next pre-1980 9.8 with star magnitude (Mays, Williams, Gretzky, Aaron, Secretariat) sold publically will top $50,000 in sell price.
  4. CGC grades are the driving force behind the hobby growth momentum.

I’m going to offer some downright opinion here regarding CGC as a grader and what you should expect as a gradee.  As a customer of over 1000 graded SI’s, I have had the opportunity to become as familiar as possible with CGC’s customer group, their grading focus, and most importantly their grading philosophy. 

CGC is a very secretive group.   They only address selective questions with generic answers.  My favorite is “our lead times are only estimates” – as if after the 1000th phone call I didn’t know that. 

Here is my opinion on CGC’s grading philosophy as it relates to pre-1980 high grade issues.

  1. All magazines are graded equally without consideration for age.  That is why high grade older mags are so scarce.  No consideration is given to age.
  2. No downgrade is given for the existence of a mailing label.  It’s just a different category.
  3. If a mag has been gently read or even opened, it rarely will exceed a 9.0 grade.  The reason for this is spine stress.  With just the minimum of handling, little white stress lines begin to form on the binding.  It’s the kiss death for a wanna be high grade issue.  So if you’re looking for a 9.2 or 9.4 – there can be NO binding stress which translates to “never have been opened”. 
  4. Don’t restore your mag – they’ll find it.
  5. Finger bends – a common downgrade if the mag has been opened.  This one is hard to spot unless you are looking for it and most collectors just ignore the possibility because they don’t really understand it.  When you kink the magazine with one hand during handling, it leaves a mark on the cover.   Again, nothing over 9.0 with finger bends.
  6. Most common major downgrade – bumped corners.  The most difficult quality downgrade to avoid is bumped corners.  It happens when quantities of magazines are stored in a box.  Over time, the box is moved, shuffled, kicked etc etc, and the corners get bumped.  Happens in the best of situations – including shipping.  Nothing over an 8.0 with a bumped corner.
  7. Other major downgrades – stains, water marks, writing, restoration, cut pages, rusty staples, loose staples, loose pages, bends, and creases.  Any of these downgrades will result in a grade of 8.0 or lower even if everything else is high grade.
  8. There are also levels within each downgrade – major, medium and light.  Any major or medium, drops you below 7.0.

These opinions are mostly meant for collectors, not sellers.  Competing in the graded magazine market is not for the faint of heart.  You’ll likely acquire 49 graded mags for every one you sell.  And it is not about the price.  You can’t drop the price to garner interest.  Collectors buy when they’re interested and don’t when they’re not.  Not much you can say or do to change that.

The more informed you are, the better purchases you will make.  If you’re like me, it just feels great to have made an informed purchase.  It’s really what we’re all competing to do.  He who possesses the most information, wins.

Here’s a current price guide you can use for reference.

Price Guide
Never Read Top 10 Star 11-20 Star 21-100 Star
9.0 $2,500 $1,000 $500
9.2 $5,000 $2,000 $750
9.4 $10,000 $5,000 $1,500
9.6 unlimited $8,000 $3,000
9.8 unlimited unlimited $6,000

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #42 – Latest Update on CGC Grading Trends.

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Thanks for your SI interest.  The scoop we all want to know.  What is CGC up to these days regarding magazines?

Is CGC, the most recognized comic and magazine grading company, its evolution, and its every trend/advancement important to our hobby? Perhaps I can best answer that question with a question – would you rather have a 1952 Mantle Topps Card Mint 10 or a near mint 9.5? 

Whether you’re interested in dollars or just bragging rights, we collectors “live and die” with our grades.

Just five short years ago, SI issues were collected by the cover, not by whether there was a mailing label, label removed, creased, stained, torn etc etc.  But one thing is absolutely certain in collectables, the best always rises to the top, in demand and value. 

Condition is the absolute driving force and momentum behind every collecting medium and magazines are no exception.

Hence, is the training and thought process behind every CGC grading criteria important?   Is every current event/trend at CGC important?   You bet your collection they are.

Magazine grading think ology is moving thru an evolution as unmistakable as the growth of the hobby.  Referring only to SI’s, there are probably about 10 pre-1980 CGC 9.8’s in existence today (excluding the #1 issue).  There are currently none listed on ebay or for sale at any of the auction houses which means the rest are in private collections and not being sold publically.  To my knowledge, the last pre-1980 CGC 9.8 sold in auction (again excluding the #1 issue) was two years ago at Heritage.  It was a 1955 Williams which sold for approximately $6000, an absolute steal in today’s market.  

I predict that the next publically sold pre-1980 CGC 9.8 SI with similar star magnitude, will sell in excess of $50,000.  In 1980, if I would have said that in our lifetime certain Topps cards would be selling for $millions, would you have believed me?

Here are a couple of current trends of interest coming out of CGC regarding high grades (9.8, 9.6), pre-1980, since 2017. 

  1. With the exception of the number #1 issue, there has not been a single grade above 9.4.  Not some, but all high grades on the census have come during or before 2017.  That is a trend.
  2. There has never been a 9.9 or 10.0 grade issued by CGC, across ALL magazines, EVER.  So I believe it’s a safe conclusion to assume any 9.8 will be the highest grade for that issue forever – until trends change.  That is a trend.
  3. If you are lucky enough to find, receive or own a 9.0, 9.2, or 9.4 CGC grade, it will be the very unlikely exception that your grade will ever be beaten.  That is a trend.

As we search the internet, trade with collectors, or even walk the isles of the NSCC (National Sports Card Convention) in July, in pursuit of the very best magazine grades, don’t shadow the crowd that believes a CGC 9.0, 9.2 or a 9.4 is not and will not be the best ever.  This is not baseball cards we’re talking about here, it’s magazines.  Fact, pre-1980 magazines have had a much more difficult time surviving than their counterpart in cards.

Think about it.  A newsstand SI is purchased in 1965.  In order to maintain a 9.0 status or above, it must be brought home without protection, stored in a box without being read, survive numerous moves, restoring, shuffling, bumping, box deterioration, humidity and handling all over a 50 year period.  If it survives all that, it must then be located in the box, pulled for perusal, handled for photographs, autographs, and reselling before eventually finding its way into a protective package.

That all this could happen without damage is more than a long shot – in fact, it happens so infrequently that the scarcity of high grade SI’s is the hobby’s biggest asset and worst liability.

In my next blog, I’ll have more to say about CGC’s actual grading process and what I believe to be their grading intentions as they absolutely drive the hobby momentum.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #41 – Seconds Anyone?

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Thanks for your SI interest.  We’re Growing!

In the past three years since our hobby began organizing, the hobby has grown from tens of Sports Illustrated graded to 1000’s.  What does this mean to the hobby?  How do I stay ahead of the hobby curve?

I remember collecting baseball cards in the 70’s and 80’s and it was always the challenge to secure a high grade rookie card of almost any player – just as long as it was a first card.  As a result, super star rookie card pricing became prohibitive for most of us, so we turned to the next best thing – second, third, fourth, and subsequent player cards.  As this movement evolved, these cards were more available, fun to collect and beat the market for value gains.  I remember collecting all years and prints of George Brett and Mike Schmidt cards until I had a full notebook.  Still have them.

Initially, these second issue star cards were very affordable – pennies each – until they became limited and you guessed it, prices rose again.  That’s kind of where we are now in SI magazines.  Subsequent SI covers are following their first cover lead.  For example, a third SI cover CGC 9.6 1984 Jordan just auctioned for $8000, a CGC 8.5 (same cover) also gaveled at $1300.  These are prices scoffed at two years ago but suddenly they’re becoming the norm. 

Like anything else, we have a choice.  We can take a wait and see approach and watch the hobby evolve like we have seen in first covers over the past two years, or we can seek out and buy second covers with the knowledge that their day is on the horizon.

In my opinion, there are a number of second, third and fourth covers, which will become very popular and very hard to find once the hobby comes to the realization first covers are a bit expensive.  

Here is a short list of subsequent covers I would suggest checking out.

Jordan, Mantle, Mays, Palmer, Nicklaus, Starr, Bird, Johnson, Rose, Ali, Brett, Schmidt, Williams, Gretzky, Jackson, Aaron, Namath, Montana, Elway, Marino, and probably 20-30 more.

Buy those second covers now at pennies on the dollar, then watch the market move just like it did with base

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Sports Illustrated Blog #37 – The Top 10 Absolute Hardest to Find, High Grade SI’s

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Today’s blog is one I find most interesting.  In previous blogs, I have ranked SI’s by difficulty/popularity and iconic/imprinting.  While these rankings are an important part of the on-going data evolution that keeps my blog readers ahead of the hobby curve, I want to share several more top 10 rankings which I believe will prove just as informative and only attainable to those reading my blog.

The next Top 10 SI Ranking and the feature of today’s blog is the “Absolute Top 10 Hardest to Find, High Grade SI’s”.  Unlike previous rankings which include a difficulty factor in the ranking, the only criteria used in compiling this ranking is rarity in high grade.  No weight is given to popularity, subject, or cover content – only high grade population.

The second ranking of interest is one for a future blog and may require some help from my readership.  We, the hobby, need to find out weekly, newsstand distribution/circulation counts for each issue pre 1980.  Clarifying total newsstand copies initially circulated would provide a sound basis upon which we could estimate current populations.  From there, we could reasonably assume/calculate the odds of future high grade populations – the Holy Grail for investors.

If you have knowledge of or can reference this data, I’d love to hear from you.  I’ll credit you in my blog and publish.

But for now, here’s the Top 10 Hardest to Find High Grade SI’s out there.  Sorry, I could only narrow down to 17.

77 Pele – None Graded

59 Unitas – Highest Grade CGC 6.5

No. 2

Nicklaus – Highest Grade CGC 7.0

No. 3

54 Clay – Highest Grade CGC 7.0

No. 4

60 Brown – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

No. 5

60 Palmer – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

59 Mays – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

No. 7

57 Aparicio – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

No. 8

61 Starr – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

No. 9

76 Schmidt – Highest Grade CGC 7.5

No. 10

61 Maris – Highest Grade CGC 8.0

No. 11

65 Oliva – Highest Grade CGC 8.0

No. 12

65 Marichal – Highest Grade CGC 8.0

No. 13

56 Mantle – World Series Highest Grade CGC 8.5

No. 14

57 Mantle – Highest Grade CGC 8.5

No. 15

67 Orr – Highest Grade CGC 8.5

No. 16

62 Taylor – Highest Grade CGC 8.5

No. 17

One analysis point to note – the above issues are in demand and as such, they are frequently submitted for grading in attempt to obtain the highest grade.  I’m sure there are other difficult issues that hobbyists are not yet inclined to grade and therefore, there are no statistics.

By now my readers should have picked up on the common theme throughout the list – all but one are “dark era prints”.  This is not a coincidence.   With regard to condition, a vast majority of the SI magazines printed between mid-1956 thru 1969 have not stood the test of time as well as those before or after.  Proof is in the data.

Please send any questions or suggestions you feel should be added to this list.  Thanks in advance for contributing.

If you’d like to see a new top 10 list, feel free to send me your thoughts.

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!

Sports Illustrated Blog #36 – “Diamonds in the Rough”

Welcome to my Sports Illustrated/TIME magazine blog – Your collector’s guide to the latest hobby updates and insight into what’s trending now.

Hello again.  I feel I should apologize.  I try to update the hobby twice per month and it’s been almost two months since my last SI update.  It is important to me to make clear to my readers that I practice what I preach.  I have recently purchased several SI collections in addition to working with individual collectors that are now concentrating on filling in their collections.  They all want the highest grade possible.  But never doubt, I am still “all in” buying high grade SI’s and TIME magazines.

If you are a collector of anything, especially SI or TIME magazines, as the hobby becomes more knowledgeable relative to value, it’s easy to get discouraged by the lack of new material that seems to come available.  Sometimes it might feel like “all the good stuff is gone”.  I’m here to tell you that “all the good stuff” is never gone. 

Value is everywhere.  Try expanding your collection.  Buy with your brain – not your heart.  There are “diamonds in the rough” everywhere – even in the most unexpected places.  Try changing your approach from searching for what is not available to finding the value in what is available.  You may be losing opportunity if you expect to double your investment in the short term.  Perhaps there is long term value on the table right in front of you.

Collecting is fun and can be monetarily profitable as well as personally rewarding as long as you remain alert and vigilant to what’s going on around you.  Magazine collecting is still in its infancy.  You are still in control of this hobby!

I hope you are enjoying the reads on the history of TIME and SI magazines as well as an insight into relevant magazine collecting.

Great collecting to you and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/TIME!