Sports Illustrated Blog #93 – Raw SI Issue Sales Shattering Records

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

Recently, a raw third cover, Magic Johnson, which I estimate the grade to be CGC 6-7, sold on eBay for $887.  As you know, I am the biggest proponent of vintage, high grade, SI values, but this one even impressed me.  And it’s not an anomaly because two bidders were in that range.

Folks, this hobby is on a rocket ship flight.  Even now, there are many, many, value buys out there.  What you thought was impossible, has become the routine.  But with these bold statements come with a caveat – all good things come to an end and collectables are very susceptible to that axiom so be cautious in your investments.

The rapidly escalating prices of SI raw mags is a solid indicator of the market’s view of the rarity/scarcity of high grade, vintage SI, SPORT, SLAM and other major pubs current availability.  With cards, rare could mean 1000’s.  In mags it could easily mean one!

At this point in the SI graded mag evolution, I’d say “be careful”.    I think, with the escalating prices we’ve seen in SI, my opinion is to look in the obvious next progression of the hobby – SPORT, BASEBALL, RING, SLAM, GOAL, and others for the real values ahead of the curve.  Sports Illustrated is still King but the King is not cheap, however I have a saying – “Cadillacs are not affected by recession.”

If you plan on entering the hobby for fun or investment, know that if you’re looking to score a CGC 9.8, you’re not operating in a vacuum and your purchase price will, more than likely, be commensurate with market values.  But today’s prices, for the most part, still seem to be a bargain when compared with future estimates. 

The landscape is evolving.  Be careful on the extent of your participation but intuitive investors will still find gold, and lots of it.

Best of luck.

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 and best fortunes with Sports Illustrated/SPORT magazines.

For a complete review of previous blogs, please visit