While collectors pay tens of thousands of dollars for Joe Jackson rookie cards—either the American Caramel or much rarer Old Mill minor league issue, another key figure from the Black Sox scandal of 1919 has a card that’s much more affordable. There’s a lot going for the E90-3 American Caramel Chick Gandil rookie card.
Serious baseball fans know that he was one who was at the heart of the scandal that saw players from Charlie Comiskey’s White Sox conspire with gamblers to lose games on purpose. While he was featured in the west coast-issued 1909 Obak set, the E90-3 is, for all practical purposes, his first real big league rookie card. It’s part of the candy-issued set which is a lot rarer than the popular Pittsburgh series E90-2 or E90-1 issue.
The E90-3 series of 20 cards was issued in Chicago and featured only players from the Cubs and White Sox. The set also includes Chicago standouts Mordecai Brown, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker, and Ed Walsh, making it a small but power packed issue.
Because Gandil is one of nine White Sox players in the set, just imagine youngsters all around Chicago more than 100 years ago chasing these cards down any time they had a coin in their pocket.
It was in 1910 that Gandil first suited up for the Sox, replacing Jiggs Donahue at first base, but he struggled in the big leagues in that first go-round, hitting below .200.
ent down to the minors, he eventually succeeded in getting back to the big leagues where he played in Washington prior to his return to Chicago, where he became a Sox fixture who by mid-career apparently felt short changed with regard to his salary.
The card pictures Gandil in an ‘action’ poses wearing his dark uniform, a foreboding image considering what was to come. Today, it is difficult to find in anything approaching high grade. Lower grade examples sell for several hundred dollars each, making it a relative bargain considering the scarcity of the card and the history behind the player. Just Collect sold one a few weeks ago in an SGC 30 holder for a little under $848. SGC has graded 17 of them; none higher than a 60. PSA has graded only eight in total—none higher than an EX (5).
The Chick Gandil rookie card is one of the toughest to find in the E90-3 set, although some speculators say it’s not easy to locate just because they don’t show up on the market frequently. His rookie card is linked to baseball history and because of this, collectors usually hate to give them up and set collectors definitely don’t. Click here to see E90-3 cards up for bid on eBay now.