Recent eBay Scores, Part 8
September 2nd, 2010 by slangon

This was the second old school boxing card that I got off of eBay from the same seller as that Jack O’Brien. It’ too is from the T220 Mecca Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter set as well.

1910 Mecca Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter Series Young Erne

As cool looking as the Philadelphia Jack O’Brien card is, I really like this Young Erne one quite a bit more, mostly because it pictures him in an actual fight setting rather than just demonstrating proper gentlemanly fighting form against a green backdrop. I particularly like the inclusion of the crowd in the background. I really enjoy that guy in green right at ringside to the left of Young Erne, the one who’s hootin’ and hollerin’ and waving his top hat around. I didn’t think folks hooted and hollered back in 1910. I always thought they were more civilized than that. Especially when they’re wearing top hats.

I don’t know if you can exactly tell just by looking at the scan of the front, but when you look at it compared to the Jack O’Brien card, I think it’s fairly obvious that this card has been trimmed on the top edge. You can really see it when you look at how thin the white border is up top as compared to the sides and bottom. I can’t say I exactly care, since there’s so many other things about this card that would get me crazy if I worried about stuff like that. Aside from the trimming, there’s some pretty major league scuffing on the picture as well as rounded corners and some significant paper loss down at the bottom. Fortunately, the paper loss doesn’t spill into the name too much. If anything, having a trimmed card just helps round out my collection of various ways a card can be damaged.

Ironically, even though overall this card is probably in worse shape than the other T220 that I got in this lot, the back is actually much nicer. The other one was okay, it was just much more faded out than this.

As you can see, Young Erne’s real name was Hugh Clavin, and like Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, hailed from the City of Brotherly Love. At the time that Young Erne was fighting, there was another boxer named Frank Erne so the “Young” was added to differentiate the two. I’m sure if Young Erne just went by Hugh Clavin, there wouldn’t be any problem, but what do I know. Also, within Philadelphia, he was known as Yi-Yi Erne

While rooting around the web, I came across an obituary of Young Erne that does address his name a bit.

Philadelphia, February 29, 1944–Hugh Frank Clavin died here early today at his home from a heart ailment. He leaves a widow, Mrs. Jennie Clavin, a son, Pfc. Joseph M. Clavin of the US Forces, and three daughters, Mrs. Marie Bache, Mrs. Irene Hearon and Mrs. Edna Rosenberg.

He earned his first purse of $2.50 in a preliminary bout July 16, 1900 on the night that Terry McGovern knocked out Frank Erne in New York. He later fought McGovern, substituting for Frank Dixon, and took the name Erne. Clavin was known as “Young Erne” elsewhere in the United States but as “Yi-Yi” in Philadelphia. The name “Yi-Yi” came from the battle cry of the gangs in the Gray’s Ferry district, where Mr. Clavin was known as the champion rock thrower of his day.

Erne was credited with fighting more than 400 hundred bouts and beating several world champions. But this was in the no-decision days and he never held a title.

Mr. Clavin who would have been 60 on St. Patrick’s Day, sensed that the end was near at 1 o’clock this morning. Just before he died he whispered to his wife, “Set me up in my corner; I want to be facing them when I go.”

There’s a ton of info in this that I find absolutely fascinating. First off, the first purse he ever won was $2.50? I know that we’re talking 1900 dollars here, but doesn’t that seem awfully cheap? Cheap purses combined with him never holding a title makes me wonder why he stuck around for more than 400 fights.

Secondly, a lot of that paragraph about how he got his name confused me more than it helped, but I found the whole part about “Yi-Yi” pretty interesting. Having read a lot of history about gangs from the late 19th and early 20th century, it makes perfect sense to me that a boxer from back then would’ve gotten his feet wet in the gangs, but who would’ve thought that he’s also be “the champion rock thrower of his day”? Jack O’Brien might’ve been inducted into 3 separate boxing halls of fame, but he was no Champeen Rock Thrower, was he?

Lastly, when my day comes, I hope to God that I say something that awesome to my wife before I go.

2 Responses to “Recent eBay Scores, Part 8”

  1. As you breath your last breath (many years from now), you utter to your wife, “Donate all my cards to the PunkRockPaint SuperMegaCorporation… Oh, and set me up in my corner, I want to face PunkRockPaint Headquarters when I go.”

    Weeks later, (long after your wife failed to return from PunkRockPaint Headquarters (What can I say. She’s still hot, and I thought you were dead…) no one was around to hear you utter, “Um, nevermind. I feel better. Can I get a beer over here?”

  2. Breathe

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