Ultra Rare 1936 Home Run Candy Cards Remain a Mystery
Many questions remain about the rare candy card set
Many collectors haven’t heard of the 1936 Home Run Candy set and that’s not too surprising when you think about it. The cards are barely seen and many non-vintage collectors probably aren’t even too aware of the 1936 S&S Game set, which is closely linked to them.
To understand the Home Run Candy cards, it’s probably best to start with the far more common S&S Game set. The S&S Game cards have rounded corners, black and white pictures, and interestingly, biographical information on the fronts. The 1936 Home Run Candy cards used the same pictures and layout but look like cropped versions with the ends cut off.
While the S&S game cards are longer and have rounded corners, the Home Run Candy cards look like only the middle portion of them and have sharp corners. Some might confuse them as merely trimmed versions but that isn’t the case. We know that because the Home Run Candy cards measure a bit taller and have different backs. But if nothing else, the two sets are somewhat linked if only by the pictures.
Shown here are pictures of both types of cards as a measure of comparison – the S&S Game card of Floyd Young is on the left while his Home Run Candy card is on the right.
And while we know quite a bit about the S&S Game set, little information is known about the Home Run Candy set.
The S&S Game cards are dated to 1936. And while the Home Run Candy cards are dated similarly because of the use of the same ‘middle’ of those cards, we really have no idea when these cards were issued.
It is, after all, quite conceivable that these cards could have been issued later — especially as a low-grade version issued only in a small area. The counter to that will be that the players and teams can date the set to 1936. But that doesn’t mean that these cards couldn’t have simply been issued later, anyway. Just because a particular player may not have still been with a team in, say, 1937, that doesn’t mean the cards couldn’t still have continued to be issued.
The Home Run Candy checklist is believed to be the same as the S&S Game card set. But again, that is merely because the cards share the same pictures and layout on the fronts. There is nothing set in stone that proves the sets have the same checklist.
In fact, given the scarcity of the Home Run Candy cards (the internet turns up only pictures of a handful), an argument could be made that no such checklist of so many cards for the set exists.
Logically, because a few of the Home Run Candy cards have been discovered with the same images/layout, it makes sense to assume the checklists would be the same. But no such guarantee can be made.
Not S&S Cuts, But …
One intriguing thing about the Home Run Candy Bars cards is that we don’t really know how they were printed.
A big issue is made of the fact (rightly) that they are taller than standard S&S Game cards and have different backs. That makes it pretty clear that they are not merely cut S&S cards. However, some pretty interesting evidence actually shows that they could be cut from larger S&S-like cards.
The Home Run Candy card of Floyd Young seen here sort of proves that. If you look closely, you can see two small horizontal lines on the sides. Now, look at Young’s S&S Game card above — those horizontal lines are actually part of the S&S design.
Again, the size of these proves that they can’t simply be cut S&S cards. But the lines on Young’s card in that Love of the Game Auction link above shows that they were probably cut from some type of oversized S&S Game cards.
Home Run Candy Bars
Another big mystery is that we still don’t really know what Home Run Candy Bars were. Backs, such as this one, advertise the product. But who produced them or what they were exactly is entirely unknown.
Keep in mind that not all backs have the Home Run Candy name. If not for that, even less would be known about this strange set. But some of the cards do and ones such as this make them appear to be a type of redemption card offering a free candy bar.
Interestingly, Babe Ruth had a candy bar called the Home Run Candy Bar produced by the George Ruth Candy Company. Really, it was part of a larger ‘entity’ called the Home Run Candy Club.
But as cited here, the company was actually forced to stop selling the candy bar by the Curtiss Candy Company, creators of the popular Baby Ruth candy bar (said to be named for Grover Cleveland’s daughter). Even though Babe Ruth was his name, the company stated that it was too close to their patented Baby Ruth candy bars. Thus, Ruth’s candy bars don’t appear to still have been on the market by 1936, likely ruling them out here. And based on the players/teams, we know that these cards couldn’t have been issued earlier.
Mode of Distribution
Finally it goes without saying but we also don’t know how these cards would have been distributed.
Could they have been placed inside a select few of the candy bars? Could they have been part of some other promotion or contest? In short, like many of the other things about this set, we’ve really got no idea and are left to make our own assumptions.