CGC-graded Sports Illustrated Sells for Record Amount

Posted on 3/3/2023

The 1964 Sports Illustrated issue featuring Sandy Koufax was sold for $32,400 by Heritage Auctions in February.

A classic issue of Sports Illustrated, featuring a cover with a painting of Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax and graded by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), has just made some history of its own. It sold for a record price for any Sports Illustrated offered by Heritage Auctions, realizing $32,400 on February 26, 2023.

The price realized for this Sports Illustrated #v20 #15 graded CGC 9.8, first published on April 13, 1964, took the record away from a 1981 issue of Sports Illustrated graded CGC 9.4, featuring Wayne Gretzky. That magazine sold for $30,000 in a February 2022 Heritage Auctions sale.

Click images to enlarge.

The cover of this magazine features a painting of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax by famed artist Bernie Fuchs. This issue marks Koufax’s second appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and this copy is the single-highest-graded example among 11 total found in the CGC Census.

Koufax joined Major League Baseball at the age of 19 in 1955 and he played his entire career for the Dodgers, until he retired in 1966. Koufax was the first major league pitcher to throw four no-hitters, and in 1965 became the eighth pitcher and the first left-hander since 1880 to pitch a perfect game. He was named the World Series MVP in both 1963 and 1965, earning two wins in each series to lead the team to another pair of titles.

Upcoming Heritage sale

More CGC-certified sports magazines will be offered in Heritage Auctions’ Sports Showcase Auction on March 25, 2023. They include an example of the first Sports Illustrated, which debuted in 1954 with an August 16 cover date. Graded CGC 9.8, it is unsurpassed in the CGC Census and has an estimate of at least $4,000.

Other highlights in the sale include:

  • a Sports Illustrated #v61, #26 graded CGC 9.0, with Michael Jordan on the cover and a date of December 10, 1984, with an estimate of at least $2,000
  • a June 1953 Time Magazine graded CGC 6.5, with Mickey Mantle on the cover, with an estimate of at least $1,000
  • a Sports Illustrated #v82 #12 graded CGC 9.8, with Michael Jordan on the cover and a date of March 27, 1995, with an estimate of at least $1,000
  • a Sports Illustrated Presents graded CGC 9.6, with Tom Brady on the cover and a date of February 13, 2002, with an estimate of at least $1,000.

Industry-leading certification services

Sports Illustrated was one of the first magazines for which CGC offered certification, grading and encapsulation when it launched CGC Magazines in 2009. Today, the service is available for many popular magazine titles, including Newsweek, Time and TV Guide, as well as comic magazines such as Wizard, Vampirella and Marvel magazines. The encapsulation process employed by CGC ensures that magazines are secure and protected while providing optimal viewing through the crystal-clear holder.

In 2022, CGC announced a new magazine holder is in development and would be released in the spring of 2023. The redesigned and optimized state-of-the-art holder will provide a superior way to preserve magazines, with an even more vibrant display and increased protection. Click here to learn how you can submit your magazines to CGC Magazines.

You can also check out Sandy Koufax sports cards in the Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) Registry.

CSG, an expert and impartial certification service for sports cards, is changing the game with advanced grading technology and the best card holder in the industry. Since launching in early 2021, CSG has already graded over 1 million sports cards. The CSG Registry is a fun and free way to organize and display your CSG-certified sports cards. This popular resource now boasts more than 3,800 users and more than 120,000 registered cards.

Click here to learn how you can submit your sports cards to CSG.

All estimates are provided by the auction house.

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