Rare First Dummy Issue of “Sports Illustrated” – Dec. 5, 1953.
Lot 14. Rare First Dummy Issue of “Sports Illustrated” – Dec. 5, 1953. The first regular issue of “Sports Illustrated,” which has Eddie Mathews on the cover, reached the nation’s mail boxes and newsstands in August 1954. Production followed two years of market research and testing by George Luce and his staff. Luce also founded “Time” and “Life” magazines. The “SI” staff produced two dummy issues and sent them to potential advertisers to obtain their opinions on the magazine’s format and advertising approach. Both demonstration issues are very scarce; distribution of this first dummy was more limited. In both prototypes, the magazine is unnamed. The cover of the first dummy simply identifies it as “The New Sport Magazine.” Inside are 140 pages of advertising and current articles and photos, including a five-page spread on the Bobo Olson-Randy Turpin fight, a Major League Baseball “squabble” between owners and players over radio and TV revenues, a preview of the Michigan State-UCLA Rose Bowl, the influence of “greedy promoters” on hockey, the colorful silks worn by thoroughbred jockeys, pro wrestling on TV, and various other topics. Articles, photos or columns are by Dan Parker, Clive Graham, Richard Meek, Red Smith, Stanley Woodward and others. The dummy is vg to vg+. The colors of the front cover are bright. The covers show a 2” split along the spine at the top and a ¾” split at the bottom. A water stain affects the bottom ½” of the front cover and the first six pages inside, as well as the bottom 1” of the back cover and approximately 50 pages in the second half of the magazine. The other pages are ex. This is a rare piece of history from the development of the most enduring sports magazine. Current Bid $121.