Sports Illustrated Blog #102 – 2023 State of the Hobby

Sports Illustrated Blog #102 – 2023 State of the Hobby

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’s been about a year since my last “State of the Hobby” blog. Much has changed in 12 short months from values to interests to growth of the hobby itself.  Let’s review a variety of the most, in my opinion, significant events influencing our hobby today over one year ago.  

The first and perhaps the most influential event is the change in values, perceived or otherwise, graded or raw.  I believe many of us are watching the daily sales/auctions events like we watch the stock market, or the clock.  Every uptick in actual sold sales, is a good thing for our collection and for our hobby – right?  The answer to that is – in the long term yes, in the short term maybe.  The reason for my reserved optimism is that I think there are certain pitfalls that accompany short term unrealistic expectations.  

By unrealistic expectations I mean making the assumption that a sale of one item automatically adjusts across the market.  Many things go into the foundation of each sale – cover athlete, esthetics, scarcity, date, timing, demand, and many more subtleties not expressed.  Therefore, the sale of one doesn’t necessarily translate to the sale of another although, the interest is always is to maximize every opportunity.  This process feeds on itself until sale prices inflate to the point of implosion or market correction.  We are now at the leading edge of that event.   But also know,

Cadillacs never go into recession.    

I see no problem with unrealistic pricing, as long as those buying have an informed knowledge of the market – which may be difficult in a fledgling environment.    Consequently, I suspect those showing temperance in their value expectations will do very well going forward because the hobby is still very investment worthy and buyer population is growing.  Those with short term, unrealistic expectations will have a more difficult time establishing trust and therefore will more likely be part of the correction.  I’ve seen this before.  A few will try to piggyback on the success of the pioneers but you, as an educated buyer, know who to trust.  Best bet is to stay with those you trust and have done right by you in the past.  References are helpful as well.  

Social media is really supporting hobby interest and growth.  There are videos, blogs, podcasts, etc, Jim Kehoe and Bradley Griffith are two amazing contributors.  Please look them up.  They’re awesome.  I highly recommend.  You can now get great pressing work from a variety of reputable agents in a matter of weeks instead of years.  Opinion articles will give you a more in depth understanding of trends and pitfalls from a cross section of authors.  Much of this stuff wasn’t available one year ago.  

After another year, our hobby still needs more buyers.  To me, it seems the resourceful buyers are quite content with their collections until something new and interesting comes up for auction or a new record breaker appears in the CGC census.  I believe our hobby is in the first generation of a multi-generational journey.  We still need more resourceful buyers, more willing sellers of top grade specimens, and time for all this to deliver a consistency we feel we can trust.  You’ll see how this works when two resourceful buyers want the same specimen.  

Overall, I think it’s been a really good year.  I’m pleased with how things are progressing including the speed with which they are progressing.  We always want good things to come quickly but when you’re least expecting it, that’s when we’ll see a break through.   Feel free to submit any questions you may have on these subjects, as my contact add-on is now working.  

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

Great collecting to you in our second century of blogs and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.