Sports Illustrated/TIME Blog #26 – Home/Hobby Magazine Grading 101

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

 

Have you ever tried to grade your own magazines before sending to CGC?  Even though most of us can’t duplicate the work of the grading professionals, it’s really the responsible thing to do because there are variables in cost and in outcome that determine the risk/reward balance.  Most of us like to fantasize our magazine grades pre-submission but before you get all excited about those 9.8 potentials, here’s why it doesn’t often work.

  1. You’re biased in favor of you. The tendency is to look at your own mags thru beer googles instead of thru a magnifying glass.  We are too optimistic about overall condition because it’s natural to want and hope for the best which rarely occurs.
  2. We don’t know or understand the grading calculation process and until we do, how can we accurately predict? What seems a minor downgrade to us may be major to the grader.
  3. We don’t see all the downgrades. I think graders get more downgrade aware the more magazines they grade.
  4. It is my opinion that as the graders and the grading process becomes more organized and more sophisticated, the tendency for graders is to become increasingly aware of any downgrades therefore, higher grades get tougher and tougher. I also believe the tougher grade phenomenon doesn’t level off but continues to get tougher as more product is evaluated.  That is why grades submitted one year ago on certain issues may end up being “none higher, POP 1” for a long time to come.  And today’s grades will be higher than tomorrow’s.  There will high grade submissions, but as the process gets more sophisticated the grades will get tougher.

If you’re really serious about estimating the grades of your pre-submissions, here are a few simple rules to follow

  1. Be honest with yourself. Those minor downgrades will count against the grade so don’t overlook the obvious.
  2. Compare your estimates with previous results.
  3. Be conservative. Downgrade your overall estimate by one grade point.

I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than overwhelmingly depressed.  Few hobby events are worse than the elation of predicting a 9.0 and actually receiving a 7.5.  Happens to me all the time.

Lastly, I’d like to offer some insight on the grades themselves relating to pre – 1980 magazines.

We all love those 9.0’s+.  But there’s a reason why sellers are asking so much – and getting it.  They’re very hard to find and get quite exclusive the higher the grade.  Basically, a 9.0 mag is Mint with a very, very minor flaw that keeps it from grading 9.8.   If you operate solely in the 9.0+ arena, the action will be infrequent and the cost will be high risk/high reward.

But there is very good news for grades under 9.0.  Personally, I think there’s a great deal of opportunity in the 7.0 thru 8.5 sector.  Take a look at an 8.5 on Ebay or in your own collection.  It’s a pretty clean mag isn’t it?  Sometimes you can’t even find anything immediately wrong with it.  Four square corners, no creases, very little wear.  If you think about it, how many out of 100 newsstand copies would be this nice?  10?  5?  Maybe 1?  If you agree, then it follows that these magazines will eventually rise to top of the collector’s want lists as soon as finding and buying something higher becomes too difficult.  Try viewing a 7.0 and you’ll see almost the same thing – very nice magazine.  The lesson here is – don’t overlook the current 7.0 thru 8.5 grades.  They will be surprisingly collectable in the near future but remember, if you procrastinate on your purchases, you’ll be competing with everybody else when you finally decide.

There is one more group – the 5.0 thru 6.5.  If you pick the issue wisely, mags in this sector can be very rewarding.  Certain issues such as the 59 Unitas, 60 Brown, and 61 Maris (and many more especially in this era) are rare above these grades.  If you can find one or more in this range, be brave and scoop them up at bargain prices.

That’s personal home/hobby magazine grading 101.  Follow these tips and you’ll be ahead of the curve, exactly where you should be.

 

One more heads up – I will be submitting the first ever CGC Graded Magazine registry for auction in August.  It’s my best Clay/Ali graded series, 1963 thru present, most are “none higher, POP 1”.  I will be following this auction with the first Jordan Graded Magazine registry in September – most “none higher, POP 1”.  Jordan and Clay/Ali – great way to kick off the registry auction movement.

 

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/TIME Blog #25 – Graded Magazine Registry: Part II – Set Fillers

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

Really good news for graded magazine collectors – I am seeing more and more graded magazines hitting the public auction sites and more is better!  Many of the new submissions are very high grade or the highest grade to date of that issue.  Ask prices have ranged from $1000 – $5000 and these high grades have had no trouble selling out.  I know of 8 graded mags which closed sales this week with the lowest price going for $2000 and the highest $5000.  I saw no discounting either which is a sure indicator of strong business.  It seems like the hobby has caught up to the underlying movement.   Excitement and prices are following the exact model about which you have been reading here and has been predicted in these blogs.  As you are reading this blog, I’m sure you’re not surprised.  The only question is – did you take the risk?

More good news – we will see more new opportunities to capitalize on the market trend as hobby participation continues to increase.  Specifically, as more submissions become available, and they will, avid collectors will be trying to piece together sets and subsets of the very highest grades and most collectable athletes.  The registry trend WILL follow on the heels of increased demand and will lead to greater demand and higher values for the “set fillers”.   Issues such as Willie Mays’ second, third, and fourth covers will quickly sell out.  Issues like “Thrilla in Manilla” and “Rumble in the Jungle” will become must fills for any Ali collector.  Mantle has three covers in 1956.  Both the second and third covers are significantly more difficult to find in nice condition, over the iconic First cover.  Aaron’s first cover is 1969 but his third cover, the 1974 “715”, is on a par in value with his first.  There are hundreds of these examples if you pay attention and do your homework.  This blog is about educating SI/TIME graded collectors and the message here is “don’t overlook the set filler phenomenon”. 

Now is the time to be scouting these set fillers because next year everyone will be scouting them and you don’t want to be caught in a bidding war.  You can buy them now for cheap compared to what I predict you will pay next year.  Right now, graded collectors are competing for the highest grades.  Be smart.  Think a year ahead.  Buy those set fillers now.  Buy two and sell one next year for a price that will pay for both.

So given the upward hobby progression, it is time, not to consider, but to act by starting and registering your own personal registries.  You’ll be glad you did.

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/TIME Blog #24 – It’s Time to Start Your Registry.

Sports Illustrated/TIME Blog #24 – It’s Time to Start Your Registry.

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

 

Seems every group, organization, team… recognizes their best and brightest stars of the past year and graded magazines are no exception.   June is the month CGC presents their annual registry awards for comics and magazines.  For those that might not be familiar with what the hobby calls a “registry”, a registry is a set, run, collection, vignette, set within a set, or otherwise recognized collection of graded items which has been submitted to and recognized by CGC (or others), assigned a grade, and judged against other submissions in the same category.

For example, magazines are a major category from which any number of sub-sets or registries may originate.  Sports Illustrated falls within the magazine category and may include such registries as the first ten swimsuits or all swimsuits, all Willie Mays covers, complete set of 1954 issues, complete collection of Jordan or Ali covers and so on.  Your registry must be submitted, accepted and published by CGC.  From those recognized submissions, CGC awards the highest valued registry in each category.  A registry value is weighted by grade and value.  The graded magazine hobby is still in its infancy, so there are significantly fewer submissions (and categories) to date, increasing a magazine submission’s odds of winning.  Owning a registry is a rewarding piece of the hobby and should be explored by all interested subset collectors.

In addition to the recognition and bragging rights that come with winning a registry award, there are many other significant benefits which may enhance your collection or hobby business.

A few of the benefits are:

  1. Your collection will receive worldwide exposure.
  2. Other collectors that may have an interest in buying some or all of your registry items will be able to locate you to make offers.
  3. Sellers may want to contact you to offer enhancements to your registry.
  4. Registry commons become more valuable.
  5. More registries serve to better organize the hobby which in turn elevates interest and value.
  6. Registries stimulate completion which also drives up values.

Because this is a Sports Illustrated/TIME blog, below I’ve listed a few of the possible registries from those publishers that may peek your interest or give you an idea of your own.

  1. Jordan covers – 50
  2. Ali covers – 39
  3. Mantle covers – 13
  4. Swimsuits – many variations
  5. Bird, Johnson, Gretzky, Montana covers
  6. Sportsman of the Year covers
  7. World Series or Super Bowl covers
  8. Derby Winning Horses
  9. Complete years
  10. Team covers – Yankees, Cardinals, Lakers, Steelers, Canadiens
  11. Batting Champions
  12. Top 10 Home Run Hitters
  13. Olympians
  14. Single sport covers i.e., baseball, football, etc.

Registries are a big part of the Comics and Sports Card hobbies and will grow to be the same in graded magazines so don’t get left behind.  Turn that prized subset into a Registry Award Winner!

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/TIME Blog #23 – TIME Graded Magazine Auction – Heritage 5-18-18.

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

 

Congratulations to all those winning at least one Graded Sports Illustrated in the recent Huggins SI Auction.  Hammer prices were 75% to 100% over private auctions one year ago.  We knew this trend was coming, didn’t we?

 

The Heritage TIME auction ends this Friday May 18 and for the first time, Graded TIME magazines are being made available in a public auction forum.  There are a number of significant differences between these TIME mags and last week’s SI’s.   The first difference is age.  TIME is the precursor of SI and some of these high grade mags are approaching 100 years old – and that is old in magazine years.  But these issues have beaten the odds with grades as high as 9.8 and most are the highest grade of that issue.  The second is high grade population.  High grade population numbers on WWII era and pre WWII era magazines are extremely rare.  With very limited exception, these magazines are only sold out of private collections and not on Ebay or the internet.

Here are a few examples of the biggest names in sports memorabilia with “None Higher” FIRST COVER items up for auction:

  1. 1928 – CGC 8.5 HOF Rogers Hornsby
  2. 1936 – CGC 6.5 Lou Gehrig
  3. 1953 – CGC 6.5 Mickey Mantle  
  4. 1954 – CGC 9.0 Willie Mays
  5. 1982 – CGC 8.0 Wayne Gretzky
  6. 1982 – CGC 8.0 Larry Bird
  7. 1949 – CGC 9.8 Ben Hogan
  8. 1960 – CGC 7.0 Arnold Palmer
  9. 1998 – CGC 9.6 Michael Jordan
  10. 2008 – CGC 9.6 LeBron James
  11. 1937 – CGC Signed (Gem Mint 10 Auto) Bob Feller

Complementing the above, below are just a few of the first cover Hall of Famers with very high grades:

  1. 1950 – CGC 9.6 Ted Williams, Two Higher
  2. 1936 – CGC 9.0 Joe DiMaggio, Three Higher
  3. 1963 – CGC 9.4 Cassius Clay, One Higher
  4. 1947 – CGC Jackie Robinson, Three Higher
  5. 1948 – CGC Joe DiMaggio (2nd Cover), Two Higher
  6. 1949 – CGC 9.2 Stan Musial, Three Higher

There are 7 more, high grade, SI’s included but not mentioned here.

There are two Heritage auction links –  

https://sports.ha.com/c/my/consignments.zx?saleNo=50002&auctionStatus=current

https://sports.ha.com/c/my/consignments.zx?saleNo=151820&auctionStatus=current&domain=all

 

I have consigned 24 of the most popular, highest graded TIME Magazines in existence.  Nearly all submissions are first covers or special events with the highest grade, or one of the highest grades, of that issue.  My last blog (#21), covered the current grading situation which is moving toward lower and lower grades on comparable items allowing older graded items an increased chance of being and staying the highest grade.  The 5-18-18 Heritage auction offers some of the most difficult, hardest to find, high grade, newsstand TIME Magazines known to the hobby.   Search Ebay “TIME Magazine” and you will find 72,000 auctions – but NOT ONE will have a higher grade of that issue than ANY of the 24 items in this Huggins auction.

My opinion – I know the population of graded TIME issues and this auction will not be duplicated in its breadth or depth of quality and value perhaps ever again.  If you are like me and you research past auctions, you find unbelievable deals that you missed.  Don’t miss this one.

 

Take a look at these auctions and try to remember any previous auctions, recent or long ago, where you have seen TIME grades this high and best of luck bidding.

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 #22 – SI Graded Auction – Huggins 5-8-18.

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

 

May, 2018 is proving to be the Graded validation month for Sports Illustrated and TIME magazines.  First, the international publication of Sports Collector’s Digest has chosen to print a feature on the graded phenomenon, propelling Graded SI’s into the national spotlight.   Second, the two largest Graded SI and TIME auctions ever, close for bidding 5-10-18 and 5-18-18 respectively.  And third, Graded SI’s are featured on the cover of Huggins’ May 10th auction catalog.  Not bad for the graded neophyte!

In advance of presenting my opinions on the two upcoming May graded auctions, I’d like to briefly re-state my cause behind all the blogs, pubs, auctions, etc.  I began blogging one year ago in an effort to bring fellow SI collectors together and to establish a forum for questions, insights, stories, as well as exposing hobby trends and nuances.  I wanted to communicate the stuff I learned the hard way.  This is blog #22 and if you are new to the site SportsIllustrated.com, I invite you to go back and catch up on where the hobby has been, where it’s headed, and the accuracy of my hobby predictions.  Regarding my blog opinions and advice, the best verification of my sincerity is that I follow my own advice.  I also buy, sell, and trade SI’s and TIME mags as a business.  In the past year, my business has grown in large part because I live my advice.

I have developed a sincere interest and desire on the part of the two auction houses who are now not only interested, but anxious for my consignments.  I promote my consignments because they are consistent with every word of every blog I have written.  I want my followers to be presented with the hobby trends ahead of the curve – which brings me to today’s subject – The Huggins Graded SI auction.

I have consigned 36 of the most popular, highest graded SI’s in existence.  Nearly all submissions are first covers or special events with the highest grade, or one of the highest grades, of that issue.  My last blog (#21), covered the current grading situation which is moving toward lower and lower grades on comparable items allowing older graded items an increased chance of being and staying the highest grade.  The 5-10-18 Huggins auction offers some of the most difficult, hardest to find, high grade, newsstand Sport Illustrated known to the hobby.   Search Ebay “Sports Illustrated” and you will find 117,000 auctions – but NOT ONE will have a higher grade of that issue than ANY of the 36 items in the Huggins auction.

My opinion – I know the population of graded issues and this auction will not be duplicated in its breadth or depth of quality and value perhaps ever again.  If you are like me and you research past auctions, you find unbelievable deals that you missed.  Don’t miss this one.

Here are a few examples of the “None Higher” FIRST COVER items up for auction:

  1. 1954 #1 – 9.8 w Baseball Cards
  2. 1954 #2 – 9.4 w Baseball Cards
  3. 1955 Al Rosen – 9.0 w Baseball Cards
  4. 1969 Hank Aaron – 8.0
  5. 1956 Paul Hornung – 9.4
  6. Wilt Chamberlain – 8.0

Here are just a few examples of very high grade first covers included:

  1. Willie Mays
  2. Jim Brown
  3. Cassius Clay
  4. Bart Starr
  5. Roberto Clemente
  6. Henry Aaron
  7. John Elway
  8. Tom Brady
  9. Peyton Manning
  10. Rocky Marciano
  11. Joe Namath
  12. 1980 Olympic Hockey
  13. Gary Player
  14. Duke Snider
  15. Yogi Berra
  16. Carl Yastrzemski

There are 14 more, high grade, SI’s included but not mentioned here.

Here is the Huggins auction link https://hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/consign.pl

Take a look at these auctions and try to remember any previous auctions, recent or long ago, where you have seen grades this high and best of luck bidding.

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 #21 – SI and TIME Grade Trends.

Sports Illustrated Blog #21 – SI and TIME Grade 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.

Congratulations!  We’ve come a long way in one year – we’ve established real creditability to our newest passion in collecting – Graded SI and TIME magazines.  As our collections have evolved in this short year, so have a number of very important trends in our hobby – trends effecting the very core of our collections and/or investments.  

 I have sent many raw SI and TIME newsstand issues for CGC grading over the past 24 months and I have noticed a consistent, changing trend in the grading process as well as the resulting grades themselves.  I have noticed that comparably conditioned magazines over the past two years seemed to be grading lower, and lower, and lower.  In the beginning, with a fair amount of accuracy, I could predict the grade results of my submissions within plus or minus one grade level.  The grading process has evolved to be so specific and detailed to date that I cannot accurately evaluate submission grade returns even within 2-3 full grade points.  As grade processes get more organized and incorporate more technical equipment, grades go down.

 Why am I blogging this and why do you care?  You care because the grading process can be expensive especially if you are submitting mags which will grade too low for your interests.  But thinking a bit outside the box, this phenomenon also is creating a unique opportunity for those who care to capitalize on the increasing difficulty of obtaining the highest grades.  Many of the highest grades in existence today have the potential to remain the highest or among the highest over the long term.   If this premises proves to be true, then current high grade issues are a bargain at today’s prices and….

 The longer a graded mag maintains the highest grade, the more likely it will always be the highest grade.

Some might think my advice on this subject could be self-serving because I am a seller, but I started this blog with the intention to “advise” regarding hobby trends and nuances and this fits the criteria.   I have asked several avid card collectors about any trends in card grades over the past decade or two.  The answer I received was that many (not all) of the highest graded cards on record over many 1000’s of submissions, were graded 10-20 years ago.  It seems that with mags as well as cards, as the grading process matures and evolves, the high grades get tougher and tougher.

In my next blog, I will detail two of the largest ever SI and TIME graded magazine auctions coming up in May but, for now, I want to draw attention to the opportunity created by these auctions.  Many of these graded mags (Huggins –SI, Heritage – TIME) are the highest or among the highest ever graded and may remain so long term (exactly what I am blogging about).  Most of these mags were graded 1-2 years ago (when CGC SI grading was just getting started and my TIME issues were the first ever graded by CGC) and represent very difficult, None Higher grades.  If you follow magazine auctions on ebay, you know it is extremely rare to find even one magazine which would challenge any one of these items.  There are 36 SI and 24 TIME mags in the upcoming May auctions.  In my professional opinion, these two auctions represent a rare opportunity, perhaps the last opportunity, to obtain one or more of these None Higher, POP 1, POP2, items in such a large variety at one time.  I believe future auctions with grades this high will be fewer in quantity and less opportunistic.

 Remember, only those reading this blog have this insight.  Visit these two sites and decide for yourself. 

In Heritage there are two links https://sports.ha.com/c/my/consignments.zx?saleNo=151820&auctionStatus=current&domain=all; and https://sports.ha.com/c/my/consignments.zx?saleNo=50002&auctionStatus=current

In Huggins and Scott there is one link https://hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/consign.pl

Take a look at these auctions and try to remember any previous auctions, recent or long ago, where you have seen grades this high and best of luck bidding.

 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 #20 – August National Sports Collector’s Convention Signers – Cleveland

Sports Illustrated Blog #20 – August National Sports Collector’s Convention Signers – Cleveland

 

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

 

If you are planning to attend the NSC Convention this year, August 1-5 in Cleveland, it’s not too early to start thinking about getting those coveted autographs.  There are over 80 signers already committed and that total is sure to grow as we near the show date.  With so many of our favorite athletes attending, this is a great opportunity (in a number of cases likely your last opportunity) to have your treasured piece signed, commemorated, personalized (only in certain circumstances), dedicated with achievements/records and unconditionally authenticated.

Although there are those that prefer pure, raw, original condition magazines, I strongly contend that there is a significant audience for signed magazines, especially hard to find, high grade SI and TIME covers.  I have personally seen signed, authenticated covers outperform their unsigned equivalent in select instances.  Remember, on high grade or graded copies, there is always the risk of handling degradation before, during and after the signing process so be careful.  For what it’s worth, I will be taking that risk this year in Cleveland.

Don’t you be disappointed after spending the significant signing fee for a signature on a printed photo that is exactly the same as everyone else.  Be original – bring a high grade SI or TIME rookie cover to have autographed.  You’ll be very glad you did.

Below I have posted a coded list of committed signers for this year in Cleveland.  Bold print means I have a very high grade or the highest CGC grade of this rookie SI or TIME cover.  Italics print means I have a high grade (ungraded) newsstand rookie copy for sale. I have multiples of quite a few covers, all newsstand, all rookie appearances, all copies worth a signature.  Not all my magazines are listed on eBay, so if you see a player of interest and can’t find an auction, just email me and I’ll send you pictures and prices.

Also below, I’ve included some samples of the many 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s SI mag covers available from my eBay store so you can visually inspect the ones of interest.  Again, just let me know if you need more info.

2018 National Signers
Alomar Rice, Jim Lambert
Bench Ripkin Lilly
Boggs Rodriguez, Ivan Reed, Andre
Carew Rose, Pete Russell, Andy
Carlton Santiago Sanders, Barry
Clemens Smith, Ozzie Shell, Donnie
Cordova Sutter Smith, Bruce
Dawson, Andre Trammell Smith, Troy
Eckersley Winfield Taylor, Jason
Evans, Dwight Yount Taylor, L.T.
Gibson, Bob Anderson, Ken Theismann
Gossage Bettis Thomas, T
Grace Bleier Wagner, Mike,
Henderson, Ricky Brazile White, Charles
Jackson, Reggie Butkus White, Randy
Jefferies Campbell Youngblood, Jack
Johnson, Randy George, Eddie Berenger, T
Kaline, Al Greene, Joe Benson, Corbin
Kluber, Cory Greise, Bob Eden, Barbara
La Russa Griffin Tyson
Lynn, Fred Ham Gilmore
Morris, Jack Harris Franco Laettner
Murry Kelly Bourque
Perry, Gaylord Kosar Craig, Jim
Raines Kramer Esposito

 

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 #19 – Sports Illustrated’s First Graded Price Guide.

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 #19 – Sports Illustrated’s First Graded Price Guide.

Today is a big day in SI collecting.   With this blog, I am introducing the first CGC SI graded price guide.   Every collectable had to start somewhere, from cards, to comics, to raw magazines and now to graded magazines.  The first caveat I will make is yes, I know, I’m a seller of graded magazines which is a conflict.  My answer to that is who better than me.  I have firsthand knowledge of the selling points of most of the higher valued items in the list.  I know where most of the 9.8’s, 9.6’s, and 9.4’s are because, for the most part, I bought the raw magazine, had them graded and sold them personally.  And finally, in an effort to back up what I print, I am definitely interested in listening to any (wholesale) offer of the retail selling price listed in my guide.

Let’s also treat this list as a guide, a beginning – something to build on.  In my pursuit of High Grade Newsstand SI’s, I often sense the indecision and sometimes fear that a seller experiences when they have no guide by which to base their selling price.  With this guide, the seller will at least be informed as to what I have experienced.  He/She will have a starting point on which to base negotiations.  Valuing graded collectables is much easier than non-graded simply because the grade itself (assigned by a recognized grader – CGC) is a form of value.  In the same way that we recognize a dollar bill to have a value, so do we recognize 9.8, 9.6, or 9.4.

First glance at some of the guide values will surprise some readers so I sent a preliminary version of this guide to several of my SI buyer contacts to gain a perspective from their angle.  Without exception, each contact expressed a form of excitement regarding where the hobby was headed, recent auction results and universal support for the guide itself and the content.

Evolving guide prices will be always be driven by cover popularity and the difficulty in finding a high grade newsstand SI.  I hope this effort will result in more magazines being graded so the census numbers grow and in turn become more statically valid.  Small and large collectors and investors will experience firsthand the probability of finding vintage (pre-1980) magazines above the grade of CGC 7.0 not to mention CGC 9.0!  And we all will begin to better understand the price points on the highest of CGC graded issues.

I predict that some SI issues will never achieve a 9.8 while others will top the charts in multiple cases.  I am the largest purchaser of CGC graded SI’s and have never received a 9.9 or 10.0 which gives you some idea of your chances for one of these grades.  It seems these grades have been reserved only for comics.

Note that I have included a value designation of “Open” in a number of places.  I have chosen to use this designation because no magazine of this grade has ever been transacted and the price will be determined at the first auction.  Also, top grade values are tougher to predict because when multiple bidders are vying for the highest grade item with a POP 1, no one knows the summit.

So here you have it.  Feel free to write me with any questions or opinions.  Any experiences you have had are openly welcomed as well.

Ranking – Top 100 Hardest to Find Sports Illustrated Issues

Rank

Year Newsstand Cover CGC Grade 9.8 CGC Grade 9.6 CGC Grade 9.4 CGC Grade 9.2 CGC Grade 9.0 CGC Grade 8.0

CGC Grade 7.0

1

1961 Roger Maris Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,000

2

1956

Mickey Mantle (all pages) Open $25,000 $10,000 $7,500 $5,000 $2,500

$1,000

3

1959

Johnny Unitas

Open Open Open Open $5,000 $3,000 $1,500

4

1967 Roberto Clemente Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,500

$1,000

5 1969 Reggie Jackson Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,000 $1,000

6

1961

Fran Tarkenton

Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $500

7

1968 Pete Rose Open Open $5,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500

8

1969 Hank Aaron Open Open Open Open $10,000 $2,000 $1,000
9 1963 Cassuis Clay Open $25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,500

$1,000

10 1960 Jim Brown Open Open Open Open $5,000 $3,000

$1,500

11

1962

Mickey Mantle Open Open Open Open $2,500 $1,000 $500

12

1961 Bart Starr Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,000 $1,000
13 1955 Ted Williams $15,000 $7,500 $5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $500
14 1964 Swimsuit Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $2,000 $1,000

$500

15 1965 Joe Namath Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,500

$1,000

16

1965 Swimsuits (1965-1969) Open Open $10,000 $5,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000

17

1974 Hank Aaron 715 $10,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500 $250
18 1970 Swimsuit Open $10,000 $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000
19 1960 Jack Nicklaus Open Open Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,000

20

1971 Swimsuits (1970-1979) Open $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500
21 2002 Tom Brady The Natural $3,000 $1,000 $400 $250 $100 Common Common

22

1954 Issue #2 Open $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $500
23 1956 Warren Spahn Open Open Open Open $1,000 $500

$250

24

1981 Wayne Gretzky $25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250
25 1977 Larry Bird Open $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500

$250

26

1970 Steve Prefontaine Open Open Open $2,000 $1,000 $750 $500
27 1955 Yogi Berra Open $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $750 $500

$250

28

1980 Olympic Hockey Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $500 $250
29 2002 Tom Brady Amazing $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250 $100 Common Common

30

1955 Al Rosen Open Open $3,000 $1,500 $1,000 $500 $250
31 1956 AllStar Game Open Open Open $3,000 $1,000 $500 $250

32

1955 Willie Mays $25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250
33 1983 Michael Jordan Open $25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000

$500

34

1975 Ali Frazier Open $5,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500 $250
35 1974 Ali Foreman Open $5,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500

$250

36

1971 Ali Frazier Open $5,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $500 $250
37 1955 Hogan Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,500 $1,000 $500

$250

38

1956 Mantle WS Open Open Open Open $2,500 $1,000 $500
39 1996 Derek Jeter $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250 Common Common

Common

40

1962 Tarkenton Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250

41

1967 Yaz Open Open Open Open $2,500 $1,000 $500
42 1957 Mantle Open Open Open Open $1,000 $500

$250

43

1965 swimsuit Open Open $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500
44 1967 Orr Open Open Open $5,000 $2,500 $1,000

$500

45

1965 Oliva Open Open Open Open $1,500 $1,000 $500
46 1962 Gifford Open Open Open $1,500 $1,000 $500

$250

47

1973 Secretariat $25,000 $10,000 $5,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 $250
48 1970 Butkus Open Open Open Open $1,000 $500

$250

49

1959 Mays Open Open Open Open $1,000 $500 $250
50 1962 Mays Open Open Open Open $1,000 $500

$250

51

1976 Brett Open Open Open $2,000 $1,000 $500

$250

52 1976 Schmidt Open Open Open $2,000 $1,000 $500 $250

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 #18 – Part III TIME Magazine – A New Way to Collect and Display plus the 26-50 Cover Ranking.

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

 

In previous blogs, I have eluded to a really cool way of organizing and presenting your magazine collection especially if you are interested in both TIME and SI (Newsweek works too).   Let’s call this idea “a collection within a collection” (CWC).   As a high grade seller of SI, TIME and Newsweek, I am getting more and more requests for athletes that have graced the cover of each magazine at least one time.   For example, Secretariat appeared on the cover of all three major magazines in 1973.  A collection consisting of these three issues in graded or ungraded high grade condition really attracts the attention of those looking for a unique collecting edge.  Obtaining the highest grade of all three issues is a very solid collection or “registry” all by itself.    Now multiply this opportunity by at least 50 – 100 multi-cover appearances and you have a very interesting, diverse playing field from which to choose your passion.  Collecting in this way gives you the opportunity to highlight your collection with your favorite player without having to buy tens or hundreds of covers at a much greater expense.

Next time you’re thinking about new ways to collect or display, consider a CWC and watch the value and display appeal of your collection upgrade.

Below I have illustrated a few examples of some really neat CWCs as well as the Collector’s Guide to the 26-50 ranking of TIME Magazine covers.  If you are interested in learning more about any one of the mags below, just shoot me a note with your questions.  Thanks and enjoy the show.

       

Ranking – Top 100 Hardest to Find Sports Illustrated Issues
0.5 1 0.6 0.9 1
Rank Year Newsstand Cover Newsstand Population Scarcity Condition Scarcity Cosmetics Collectability Investment Potential Total Weighted
26 1947 DiMaggio 9 10 8 9 8 44 13997
27 1954 Snead 8 10 10 8 8 44 13824
28 1934 Gomez 9 10 8 8 8 43 12442
29 1977 Carew 7 9 9 10 8 43 12247
30 1962 Robertson 8 10 8 10 7 43 12096
31 1964 Parseghian 7 10 10 8 8 43 12096
32 1955 Campanella 8 10 8 8 8 42 11059
33 1960 Rafer Johnson 8 10 8 8 8 42 11059
34 1982 Montana 7 9 8 10 8 42 10886
35 1972 Bench 7 10 7 10 8 42 10584
36 1955 Stengl 8 10 8 8 7 41 9677
37 1966 Marishal 7 10 8 8 8 41 9677
38 1952 Stanky 8 10 8 7 8 41 9677
39 1998 Jordan 5 7 10 10 10 42 9450
40 1968 Hull 7 10 8 8 7 40 8467
41 1972 Shula 7 9 7 10 7 40 8335
42 1985 Bird/Gretzky 6 7 8 10 8 39 7258
43 1968 McClain 7 10 7 7 7 38 6483
44 1964 Bauer 7 10 8 6 6 37 5443
45 2008 James 5 6 8 10 8 37 5184
46 1985 Rose 6 7 8 8 7 36 5080
47 2001 Earnhardt 5 6 9 8 8 36 4666
48 1985 Tiegs 5 7 8 8 7 35 4234
49 1972 Spitz 5 7 8 8 7 35 4234
50 1945 Ott – Pony Edition 8 10 3 8 8 37 4147

 

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 #17 – Dead or Alive? Get Them signed!

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

Mays, Aaron, Lucas, Groat, Hornung, Jackson, Bench, Rose, Carew, Taylor, Fisk, Bird, Jordan, Brown, Gretzky, Montana, Marino, Elway, Kaline, Oliva, Yaz, Namath, Gwynn, Morgan, Havlicek, Tarkenton, Player, Nicklaus, Jabbar, McDowell, Koufax, Dawson, Cousy, Ryun, Brett, Schmidt, and Yount.

What do they all have in common?

They are all living.

Why is this important?  More important to them but also important to entrepreneurs interested in capitalizing on a burgeoning opportunity – Getting your mags signed NOW!  Autographs are fun, signed mags are better, signed high grade (or graded) mags are best.

I could have named hundreds more stars and recognizable names above but think of the names missing from that list – Ali, Mantle, DiMaggio, Williams, Maravich, Hogan, Starr, Lombardi, Chamberlain, Drysdale, and Musial to name a few.  No more autographs of these guys.  That finality always inspires an urgency among collectors to add any of these to their collection when the opportunity arises.

With a little planning and a stick-to-it determination, anyone can build a formidable collection in a relatively short period of time.  Here is my recommended steps for building a high/highest grade, one of a kind autograph collection.

  1. Signatures are very popular but getting them on the right medium is key to maximizing value and presentation. In my opinion, cards, envelops, tee shirts are all fine but high grade magazines are best and TIME and Sports Illustrated covers (esp graded) are meant for signatures.  If placed cosmetically with the appropriate marker (think about this in advance so when asked you are ready) it’s like apple pie and ice cream – meant for each other.
  2. Obtain, buy, trade, for high grade SI and TIME covers of stars, athletes well in advance. I like to buy my high grade covers on a ten year plan – sometime in the next ten years I plan to cross paths with every signer in my collection.  This allows time for keeping everything to a plan.  For example, if I had a very high quality, raw, 1974 SI Henry Aaron 715, I might either send to his signing desk, attend a signing show, or better yet, travel to his office, mag in hand, to obtain a great signature while safeguarding the condition of my mag.  Then I would get it graded and have a real trophy.
  3. Contact a reputable seller and buy a few raw mags at first to test the quality of the mags. Some sellers have consistent, really nice stuff with honest evaluations while others not so much.   If your purchases are up to your standards, check into the price and availability of more of the same.
  4. I like to have multiples of my favorites, if possible (newer raw mags can be purchased for $10-$20, pre 1980 will average between $50-$100 depending cover and condition), and 40-50 different covers ready for signing at all times.
  5. It’s your option to have your mag graded before AND after signing, or just after. It costs a bit more to do both but grading your mags in advance lessens the risk of a surprise grade later on.  You can also just buy a graded mag that is ready for a signature.  Again, you’ll pay a bit more for a CGC high grade magazine, but you’ve removed the risk of future surprises.

So don’t put off until tomorrow what you can get signed today.  Tomorrow may be too late.

 

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