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!

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