Sports Illustrated Blog #68 – Very High Grade SI Mantle and Rose coming to 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.

It is extremely rare in our hobby that the highest graded, most popular cover/athletes come to market.

The reason for this is that these issues are owned by investors and they aren’t selling.  And when investors aren’t selling – it means something.  It means they believe values will be greater in the future.

In that this is an opinion blog, I’m going to weigh in – no question – values are on the increase.  Issue by issue, multiple percentage increases or 4 figure increases have become hobby acceptable.

All you have to do for confirmation is follow the auctions highlighted in my previous blogs.

I am 10% collector and 90% seller.  Keeping true to my DNA, I have decided to publically auction a number of my most collectible pieces, beginning with the CGC 9.4 56 Mantle and the CGC 9.2 68 Rose.

The CGC 9.4 Mantle is One Higher POP 6.  This is the first time a magazine like this has come to market in over 3 years.  That should tell you something about how investors feel about its value potential.  The fact that there is only one graded higher over all these years and entries, and that grade came many years prior to the new era in grading, should tell you that this grade may never be beat.

The CGC 9.2 Pete Rose is Two Higher, POP 1.  In many ways, I view this cover to be more difficult and perhaps as valuable long term as the CGC 9.4 Mantle for the following reasons.  First of all, this Rose is a Dark Era Print (view previous blogs for the significance of this designation) making it significantly more difficult to find in collectable grade.  Printing issues from this era also significantly reduced the high grade populations of the most popular, highly coveted covers, ie, – Aaron, Clemente, Orr, etc.  As a result, these condition issues have lessened the opportunity of finding a 68 Rose in CGC 9.4 or higher and, in my opinion, rendering that possibility highly unlikely.

I also want to say that I believe there are currently a number of first tier Sports Illustrated covers that are highly undervalued at this time.  In the next few years as hobbyists settle in to a more stable pricing structure across the hobby, it will become increasingly obvious that the most highly coveted, high grade issues are considerably undervalued, and at this point, the market will correct.  Investors know this.  The top end items will be take a massive step forward in their auction values.  I maintain that we are, right now, at a $50,000 price tag for the top issues even though privately closed sales from 2-3 years ago ranged from $10,000 to $15,000.  That number will easily break six figures after the first major collection hits the market.

This is not some invention of mine just to inflate sell prices.  It is the pattern of every organized collectible known to man and is the evolution concept that investors use to perpetuate the highest profits.  They buy at current perceived market value (which is certainly fair), having previously experienced the top end pricing phenomenon many times over.  That’s why they own the top stuff.  They take the risk (if you can call this a risk???) and reap the highest rewards.  Over time, this phenomenon will happen many times over within the same collectible.  Do you think the 52 Topps Mantle got to $3,000,000 with one price jump? 

As I have thousands of readers following my blog, I want to be clear about the opinions on this site.  The opinions here are mine.  They are just that – opinions.  But I have been openly offering my opinions on this site for 4 years and I have had hundreds of readers write to encourage my incites and not even one reader take exception with my format – so I continue.  If there is a reader out there that feels mislead, please write me and we can discuss.

In the end, population and grade position on that population, reigns king on the value scale.  Again, my opinion – covers of this magnitude will not auction publically again for years.

I have included pictures below as an invitation for any of my readers to contact me if you are interested in owning these covers before I submit them for auction.

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

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