Bird is the word, as in Larry Bird, who makes his first Sports Illustrated cover appearance with this 11/28/77 SI Vol 47, #22 issue. A nearly unstoppable basketball force for Indiana State University, Bird led the Sycamores to their first Division I appearance in the NCAA Tournament, making it all the way to the 1979 Championship Game, where he met Magic Johnson to begin a famous rivalry that would continue throughout their magnificent NBA careers. Recognized as being condition sensitive due to the red cover color, this key first appearance issue is graded a very respectable (7.0) by CGC, as "1/2" at this level with 6 higher on the certification service's Census; and also ranks as #25 on the list of hardest to find SI issues. Grading label notations include "White Pages, 1st Larry Bird (Indiana State) cover".
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