‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||Champion Athletes (C52)
|Size||2 1/2″ x 2 7/8″
|Type||Canadian / Tobacco
|Number in Set
1910 Champion Athletes Overview
While this set doesn’t include any cards featuring the big four American sports, several sports are included. Boxing and track and field dominate the set but four golf cards are known. Some rarer sports are also seen in the set as well, including bowling, billiards, and aviation.
The cards look different than most of the early 1900s tobacco issues. Instead of a long, narrow design, these cards are nearly square in shape and look like the gum card issues of the 1930s.
The cards have color lithographic pictures of athletes on the fronts along with their name printed in small capital letters. And, as shown here, they were printed both horizontally and vertically. Some athletes are featured in different poses on more than one card.
C52 vs. T218
If these cards look familiar, they should. They are the virtual counterpart of the more popular and commonly seen T218 Champions series. The backs are different, however, and these cards were issued in Canada.
A total number of only 100 cards is advertised on the backs as they were issued in two 50-card series. The only problem with that is, some of the card numbers are shared with more than one athlete. As a result, there are more than 100 actual cards in the set. A total of 153 cards are found in the T218 set but, to date, that many are not known here. This thread shows a checklist of 109 cards, though others could exist.
While the C52s look the same as the T218s, they are significantly rarer and much more difficult to find.
Unlike the T218 cards, which included advertisements for Mecca, Honest, and, less commonly, Tolstoi, these card backs were anonymous, only calling this the Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter Series. However, the cards did have a card number on them, which was different from the unnumbered T218s.
1910 Champion Athletes Checklist
A complete checklist has not yet been assembled for this set. However, this checklist is believed to include most of the known cards.