‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||E90-1 American Caramel
|Size||1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
|Number in Set
E90-1 American Caramel Overview
The E90 American Caramel sets (there are three) are among the most popular candy issues. In particular, the E90-1 set is close to the top when it comes to most widely collected candy cards.
Cards were manufactured by the American Caramel Company, which went on to produce numerous other baseball card sets.
In all, 121 different cards are included in the set. While there are numerous Hall of Famers found in this issue, the Joe Jackson card is easily the most desirable in the set. Even in poor condition, it usually fetches more than $10,000.
His card, along with the numerous tough issues (such as Mike Mitchell) make this an incredibly difficult set to complete even with a reasonable checklist number. Beyond the Hall of Famers and stars, a decent part of the set is comprised of harder to find commons. The cards are colorful in nature and feature players in a variety of poses.
Several players have cards with variations. Hall of Famer Willie Keeler, for example, has three cards – one portrait with a red background, one portrait with a pink background, and one featuring him batting. The pink background is considered a true variation and is listed as a separate card on most checklists. But because the picture is the same as the one with a red background, it could simply have been a printing flaw that caused the lighter background and not a true variation.
E90-1 ‘Set of 100’?
One of the great mysteries of the E90-1 set is the backs. Those mention 100 cards in the set but there are, in fact, 120 that have been discovered. It’s a problem that’s stumped card collectors for decades.
There are ways to get closer to 100 cards. If you discount all of the variations, you find a set of 108 cards. If you attribute some confusion on the part of the company and take out every player with the same last name as a previous player (i.e. Mordecai Brown/Buster Brown), that gets you to 102. But it’s difficult to find a definitive path to 100.
The most likely explanation is that since the cards were printed over a variety of years, the company simply exceeded the 100-card count and just stuck with the same backs. Considering the company used the same 100-card count back in their E90-2 set despite that set containing only 11 cards is pretty good evidence that they weren’t terribly concerned with the accuracy of that print. Instead of trying to come up with a path to figure out where the 100 number came from, a more logical approach is to simply accept that the company printed more cards than they likely anticipated.
Dots Miller Sunset Newest Variation
While 120 cards are most generally listed for this set, 121 is actually the correct number. A new discovery a few years ago upped the total by one.
Dots Miller has a card in the set both with a plain yellow background and another with a red sunset-like marking against the yellow. It is generally considered as the ‘sunset’ variation because many of the cards in the set have similar colorful sunset additions to the background.
Thus, while 120 is often cited as being the number of cards in this set, this variation pushes it to 121.
E90-1 American Caramel Checklist
Below is a complete checklist for the set.
|Home Run Baker|
|Kitty Bransfield (P on shirt)|
|Kitty Bransfield (no P)|
|Fred Clarke (Philadelphia)|
|Fred Clarke (Pittsburgh)|
|George Gibson (back view)|
|George Gibson (front view)|
|Roy Hartzell (fielding)|
|Roy Hartzell (batting)|
|Harry Howell (follow through)|
|Harry Howell (windup)|
|Addie Joss (portrait)|
|Addie Joss (pitching)|
|Willie Keeler (pink)|
|Willie Keeler (red)|
|Willie Keeler (throwing)|
|Tommy Leach (throwing)|
|Tommy Leach (batting)|
|Dots Miller (two variations – one with and without a red sunset in the background)|
|George Stone (no hands)|
|George Stone (left hand)|
|Honus Wagner (batting)|
|Honus Wagner (throwing)|
|Cy Young (Cleveland)|
|Cy Young (Boston)|