CGC-certified 1984 Sports Illustrated Featuring Michael Jordan Offered in Heritage Sale

Posted on 11/9/2023

A rare Sports Illustrated from Michael Jordan's rookie season is among dozens of historic magazines certified by CGC in the November auction.

A high-grade example of the record-breaking Sports Illustrated issue featuring Michael Jordan is among dozens of historic sports magazines certified by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) that are being offered in an upcoming Heritage Auctions sale. Bidding is already underway for Heritage Auctions' Fall Sports Catalog Auction #50065, which will be held November 16-18, 2023.

One of the top lots in the auction is a Sports Illustrated v61 #26, December 10, 1984 graded CGC 9.6 (lot 81761), which features Jordan's first appearance on the cover as an NBA pro after being drafted No. 3 overall by the Chicago Bulls. Graded almost as high as the record-breaking CGC 9.8 that sold for $126,000 in August (more than double the previous record), this particular copy has an estimate of at least $60,000.

Click images to enlarge.

As one of the earliest collectibles of Jordan's legendary NBA career, this Sports Illustrated issue was appropriately titled "A Star Is Born," and featured an image of the shooting guard in the middle of an acrobatic layup against the Milwaukee Bucks only a few months after he entered the league. He quickly became the focal point of the Bulls' offense, as Jordan took the NBA by storm and went on to win Rookie of the Year. Although Jordan first graced the cover of Sports Illustrated alongside Sam Perkins while attending the University of North Carolina, this was the first issue of "His Airness" in a Chicago Bulls uniform, and many would follow throughout his iconic career.

Jordan would go on to become arguably the greatest basketball player ever and one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports. Between his accomplishments on the hardwood and his signature sneaker line off of it, No. 23 became one of the first global NBA superstars. Jordan led Chicago to six NBA championships, earned six Finals MVPs, five league MVPs, 14 All-Star selections and three All-Star Game MVPs in his astounding career. Among numerous post-retirement honors, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Other CGC-certified magazines in this auction include:

  • a Sports Illustrated v59 #23, November 28, 1983 graded CGC 9.2 (lot 81758), with an estimate of at least $10,000
  • a World Championship Game Program (National Football League), January 15, 1967 graded CGC 9.4 (lot 81930), with an estimate of at least $6,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v96 #7, February 18, 2002 graded CGC 8.0 Qualified (lot 81771), with an estimate of at least $5,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v1 #1, August 16, 1954 graded CGC 9.8 (lot 81433), with an estimate of at least $4,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v65 #1, July 7, 1986 graded CGC 9.4 (lot 82156), with an estimate of at least $4,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v61 #5, July 23, 1984 graded CGC 9.0 (lot 81760), with an estimate of at least $4,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v59 #23, November 28, 1983 graded CGC 7.5 (lot 81759), with an estimate of at least $2,000
  • a Sports Illustrated v96 #16, April 15, 2002 graded CGC 9.0 (lot 81932), with an estimate of at least $2,000

Estimates are provided by the auction house.

About CGC

Since revolutionizing comic book grading in 2000, CGC has grown to include certification services for many other types of pop culture collectibles. These divisions include CGC Cards, CGC Video Games and CGC Home Video. CGC Cards provides expert card grading for TCGs, sports cards and non-sports cards. CGC Video Games is dedicated to video game grading for the most popular consoles, including Nintendo, Sega, Atari, PlayStation and more. The newest division of CGC, CGC Home Video, provides expert VHS grading in addition to other types of videocassettes.

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