T218 Champions Errors Include Newly-Discovered Joe Jeannette
A new unchecklisted error/correction for a boxing Hall of Famer has been discovered
The T218 Champions set is a multi-sport issue from the early 1900s. The set doesn’t include baseball cards so it goes a bit under the radar. But it does include champions from all sorts of sports, including boxing, golf, track and field, and more. With 153 cards, it’s a relatively large issue for the time period.
The T218 set includes a few known error cards. Swimmer C.D. Trubenbach is one of those as he has a card spelled ‘Trudenbach.’ Hammer thrower Simon Gillis also has two variations — and both actually include errors. Gilles has one card with his name spelled as Gillis on the back and another spelled as Gilles on the back. And as identified in this Net54 thread, Robert Cloughen is a third. Cloughen has his name spelled as both ‘Cloughen’ and ‘Cloughan’ on the back.
Now, a fourth error/correction in the set has been discovered.
This week, collector @MattyPabst on Twitter mentioned to me that boxing Hall of Famer Joe Jeannette seemed to have two cards — one that spelled his name as ‘Jeanette’ and another that spelled his name as ‘Jeannette.’ He was informed of the error by @EkimDiamonds, who was actually the one who noticed it first.
To date, I have not seen this error and correction checklisted anywhere, thus making it seemingly a new discovery. If nothing else, it is new to 99.9% of the hobby as I’m willing to concede that some T218 supercollector out there may be sitting on the information.
Adding to the interest in the variation is that Joe Jeannette’s card is one of the more desirable ones in the set. The two cards of former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson are the most desirable ones, of course. But others like Jeannette, James Jeffries, and Sam Langford from the boxing subset are seen as keys, too.
Jeannette, if you’re unfamiliar with him, is a fighter that never really got his due. He was the World Colored Heavyweight Champion but never got a shot at the world’s heavyweight title. The fight he is known for the most is a 49-round (not a typo) fight against Sam McVey, the longest boxing match of the 20th century.
A Deeper Dive into the Two Cards
Now that we know the two cards exist, let’s take a closer look. Here are pictures of the two backs showing the differences in the cards.
The discrepancy is seen in the first line of type. As can be seen here, the single ‘N’ version here is found with the Hassan Factory 30 back. Currently, it is unknown if that is the only back it can be found with. But one would surmise that the earlier versions of the card would have been spelled with one ‘N’ and then corrected later once the mistake was discovered. All versions that I have seen have Jeannette’s name spelled correctly on the front.
So which is the rarer of the two? It’s easily the single ‘N’ version. In researching dozens of copies online, almost all I have found have Jeannette’s name spelled with two Ns. Only a few had the single ‘N’ name.
With that settled, how about values? Well, despite the clear rarity of one over the other, I’m not sure there will be much of a premium for the error card. I say that for a few reasons.
First, boxing cards (as I’ve covered before) just don’t usually command through the roof prices like cards for baseball do. A rookie tobacco card for a Hall of Fame baseball player would typically be worth, at the very least, several hundred dollars and four figures would be more likely for the bigger names. Jeannette’s T218 card starts at around $10-$15.
Second, the set is just not an expensive one. As mentioned, the two Jack Johnson cards are the most valuable and, in low grade, those are both under $50. Even the top cards are not worth a ton of money.
Third, there aren’t really significant premiums paid for the other errors in the set. The cards are recognized but demand is usually the most important factor in a card’s price and there just aren’t a slew of collectors pursuing the T218 set like there are things like T205 and T206.
That doesn’t mean that no premium will exist for it. I could see the error commanding a little bit more money as master set collectors that learn about it would be on the lookout. But even when the error becomes more well known, it is difficult to see it being worth a lot for the reasons I mentioned above.
Nevertheless, the Jeannette error is easily the most intriguing of the four in the set and an important new discovery at that.