Sports Illustrated/TIME Blog #30 – Swimsuit $7800, Rose $5800 lead the way!


Sports Illustrated/TIME Blog #30 – Swimsuit $7800, Rose $5800 lead the way

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


High grade SI’s set Heritage sales records. 

Quality is always in demand.  In Heritage’s most recent Sunday internet auction, a 1964 #1 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit CGC 9.2, none higher POP 1, set a new record high for the sale of a graded SI as bidders pushed the final buy price to $7800.  Six different bidders shared in the action.  The ‘64 Babette March swimsuit issue (along with other 60’s and 70’s swimsuits) has always been an SI collector’s classic but until recently, a grade of 9.0 or above has been non-existent.   Current CGC census data of the first swimsuit issue lists only one CGC 9.2 and one CGC 9.0.    In addition, swimsuit issue #2, a 1965 CGC 9.0 sold for $1300+.

There are earlier swimsuit issues (1954, 1955, 1957) however the ’64 is considered the first in a series that continues in uninterrupted sequence thru 2018.  High quality SI 60’s and 70’s newsstand swimsuit issues are among the most popular and most difficult issues to find making the one and only early swimsuit registry in the CGC census a “must explore” for serious SI swimsuit collectors.  This registry is the one graded collection currently known with every one of the first 25 swimsuit issues graded and available for sale.  SI collectors are also raising the bar on ungraded newsstand issues as a rare set of the first 25 ungraded swimsuit issues (1964 thru 1989) in high grade newsstand condition sold this month in a private sale, setting the sales record for ungraded issues as well.

Not to be outdone, another graded SI auction item, a 1968 Sports Illustrated Pete Rose first cover CGC 9.2, one higher POP 1, broke the previous graded Sports Illustrated sales record for a public auction.  Gaveling at $5800, this iconic first cover issue illustrates the brash Rose in a variety of action poses indicative of his hard charging approach to the game.  Even though banned from the hall of fame, Pete’s memorabilia continues to be a fan favorite and may even be gaining in popularity as he is further removed from retirement.  It is this type of quality memorabilia that consistently maintains and even increases in value within an often changeable market.

One more graded item, a 1975 SI magazine graded CGC 9.6 depicting the third Ali vs Frazier fight – “The Epic Battle”, sold for $3840.  Not bad for a non-first cover issue!  Across graded Sports Illustrated issues, Ali continues to be one of the top 2 or 3 most in demand athletes ever to grace the SI cover portfolio.

This bidding action is clear indication that high quality, graded SI issues have moved up the graded sports memorabilia collector’s want lists.   Over the past year and a half, you have been reading in this blog that graded Sports Illustrated would become the next big thing in the sports memorabilia hobby and Sunday’s auction has revved up that prophecy.  A really interesting observation to note here is that although SI swimsuits are among the most popular of all SI issues, there are several other notables such as the 54 #2, 55 Mays, 55 Berra, 55 Williams, 56 Mantle, 61 Maris, 63 Clay, 67 Clemente, 68 Rose, 69 Aaron to name just a few (see my list in previous blog #9 of the top rated 100 SI’s covers), that are every bit as popular and perhaps even more in demand.  What will be their sell price as they come to auction?

The main purpose of this blog is to educate and inform my readers as to relevant hobby updates and trends.  In each blog, my goal is to provide hobby facts that will lessen risk and increase the opportunity to add equity to each and every SI collection.  My conclusion based on the data above, is that graded Sports Illustrated, especially 9.0 and above, is increasing significantly in demand (more interested collectors are entering the hobby) and that will translate into higher, and higher, and higher auction sale prices.  And I’m not talking about next year or five years from now.  I’m talking now.  I predict these recent auction records will be broken before year’s end.  And even at these escalating prices, today’s prices will be a bargain next year.  Don’t over extend your budget but graded SI’s are fun, they display great, they are nostalgic conversation pieces and if you have been buying them over the past year and a half, you know why new collectors and investors have been drawn to the hobby – they perform.

These are truly great times for the SI/TIME graded mag 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!





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