Sports Illustrated Blog #103 – Significant Upgrades on Very Significant Issues

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 2022, CGC issues hit their highest mark on some of the most coveted SI issues in the hobby and the frequency with which this has taken place is remarkable.  CGC 9.8 grades of any year or issue are no small feat yet this year has produced 9.8’s on the 84 Jordans, other later Jordans, 86 Tyson, 96 Manning, 14 Messi, 03 James SLAM, 80 Olympic Hockey, and just as many others. 

In addition, grades continue to creep ever higher on most other major issues of interest – 56 Mantle (tied), 75 Ryan, 86 Renaldo, 91 Shaq, 90 Sanders, 77 Bird, most later Jordans/Johnsons/Birds/Bradys/James, etc etc etc.   My apologies to the many new and superior grades I have not included above but the point is upward movement of the most valuable issues is still, even at this late date, not only possible, but probable.  Still looking for a 9.8 56 Mantle, 77 Bird and 83 Jordan.  

A surprising element of this upward movement is how much of it can be attributed to just three collectors.  I have had a relationship with CGCsportsillustratedking, Lou McCollum, for approximately two years, and in that time, he has amassed a collection that qualifies him, in my playbook, as the current SI King.  He posts his new grades on Instagram and a check of his recent postings will confirm his place at the top.  It’s amazing to me, in that we all have the same opportunity to find and procure new issues, that he has so convincingly outperformed the entire hobby.   

CGCsportsillustrated/Jim Kehoe and Dan Pingree are not far behind.  They both also post on Instagram while Jim hosts a random “Box Opening” podcast and bi-monthly meeting with interested collectors.  Their current contributions to significant issue upgrades are considerable.  I know sources are strictly kept secret but I’ve been thinking of following them around to see if some of their brilliance will rub off.  

These three have proven that “finds” are out there.  Very infrequently, if you are diligent in your efforts, you will overturn the right stone but they seem to be able to consistently outperform the odds.  

One sector of the hobby that has not changed is the rarity of the 60’s high grade newsstands.  Even though CGC grades are creeping upward, that is not true for SI newsstands between 1959 thru 1969.  I know of no major issue that has increased during that era in 2022.  

So there you have it.  Our hobby still produces grade improvements keeping our most avid collectors on their toes.  It’s a fun time to be a graded magazine collector.  

Feel free to submit any questions/comments 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.