An Unbelievably Sad Story About An Autograph Hunter And His Quest To Find A 1960 SI Cover Girl

On Tuesday the LA Times ran a story about New Jersey autograph collector Scott Smith.

Smith, a retired investment banker, has made it his life goal to get every Sports Illustrated cover signed by its cover athlete/model.

He has gotten Michael Jordan’s autograph 35 times and Muhammad Ali’s 48 times. In all he has 4,413 signatures on 2,913 covers. After spending more than $300,000 on his hobby with his Wall Street savings, Smith believes he has the autograph of 95 per cent of all the cover models.

But one unsigned cover has always irked him. It is a 1960 edition (Volume 13, Issue 16 published on October 17) with a beautiful woman wearing “new look in sports clothes,” a blue one-piece bodysuit. 

Smith had been unable to figure out who the woman was, and asked LA Times readers to let him know any information they had about her.

The cover:

si 1960 cover girl

After the LA Times story came out, a tipster identified the woman as Dolores Greer, an 81-year-old former model. 

But in a stunning twist of fate, Greer had died the exact day Smith was being interview about his SI collection. Greer was only fresh in the tipster’s mind because the Times had just ran her obituary on Sunday — two days before the original article about Smith.

Smith told the Times: 

“Oh, my goodness. This is unbelievable. I wish I’d done this two or three years ago. This is a bummer. This is such unbelievable timing.”

Unreal, and sad.

Read the original story on Smith here >

And here’s the follow-up about Greer’s death >

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