Quirky 1921-23 National Caramel Set Relied on Repeats

Through the years, eagle-eyed collectors may have spotted the same photo used in multiple card sets.  Sometimes even a few years separated them.

It was a lot more common, though, in the early days of sports card collecting.  With few professional photographers and even fewer shooting sports in the 1920s, the use of photos was pretty common.  Those issued with candy or baked goods or offered in penny arcade machines may have been different sizes but the photo was sometimes identical.

Wally Pipp You’ll see it a lot with the 1921-23 National Caramel (E220) set, a black and white issue distributed by the National Caramel Company of Lancaster, PA.  The set is sometimes confused with the American Caramel issues from the same era but the backs carry the phrase “Made only by National Caramel Company”.

Measuring 2 x 3 1/4″, National Caramel cards are popular, if not a bit underrated.

National Caramel Babe RuthOn the front is the player’s picture, his name, position and team printed along the bottom.    There were 120 cards in the set with five players appearing on two cards.  There are 62 National League players and 59 American Leaguers.  Thirty-seven of the 120 cards feature players from New York teams.

The Babe Ruth card is especially popular–and rare.  Just nine have been graded by PSA, with none rating better than 5.  In fact, it’s a card we listed not long ago as among the best vintage baseball cards to put your money into.

Error cards?  Plenty!  The E220 set is plagued by misspelled names including Edd Roush, Casey Stengel, Bill Wambsganss and Harry Heilmann.  Art Nehf is labeled Robert, Scott Perry’s card actually pictures Ed Rommel and Pep Young’s picture is actually Ralph Young.

Casey Stengel E220An  article by John Spalding in the Trader Speaks during the 1980s chronicled some of the photos die-hard collectors will see elsewhere:

Among the familiar pictures from the Exhibit set are Cruise, Barber, Dykes (the batting pose), O’Neill, Ring, J. Collins, Rapp, Olson, Gowdy and others, including Walter “Duster” Mails who is shown as “Buster”.

Grimm, Rousch (Roush), Shawkey, Emil Meusel, Pratt, Maranville, Pipp and others come from other E sets, but Joe Judge’s photo is one of the most interesting in the set. He’s seen in the familiar pose with the bat on his left shoulder. This same pose appears in E135 printed in 1916 and also in E121, but with the background blanked out in each case. The E220 Judge shows that original picture, background and all.

There are several horizontal cards in the set which gives E220 a unique look.

You can buy a beat up Ruth card from the set for $3,500 right now —or a Wally Pipp for a lot less.

Here’s the 1921-23 National Caramel checklist just as the players were identified back in the day.

Charles “Babe” Adams P. – Pittsburgh
G. C. Alexander P. – Chicago National
James Austin S.S. – St. Louis American
Jim Bagby P. – Cleveland American
Franklin “Home Run” Baker 3rd B. – N.Y. Yankees
Dave Bancroft S.S. – N.Y. Giants
Turner Barber 1st B. – Cleveland American (horizontal)
Joe Bush P. – N.Y. Yankees
Leon Cadore P. – Brooklyn
Max Carey R.F. – Pittsburgh
Ty Cobb Mgr. – Detroit American
Eddie Collins 2nd B. – Chicago American
John Collins 1st B. – Chicago American
Wilbur Cooper P. – Pittsburgh
S. Coveleskie P. – Cleveland American
Walton Cruise O.F. – Boston National
Wm. Cunningham O.F. – N.Y. Giants
George Cutshaw 2nd B. – Pittsburgh National (horizontal)
Jake Daubert 1st B. – Cincinnati
Chas. A. Deal 3rd B. – Chicago National
Bill Doak P. – St. Louis
Joe Dugan 3rd B. – Boston Red Sox
Jimmy Dykes 2nd B. – Phila. Athletics (batting)
Jimmy Dykes 2nd B. – Phila. Athletics (fielding)
“Red” Faber P. – Chicago American
“Chick” Fewster Utilityman – N.Y. Yankees (horizontal)
Wilson Fewster  – N.Y. American (horizontal)
Ira Flagstead C.F. – Detroit Americcan
Arthur Fletcher S.S. – N.Y. Giants (horizontal)
Frank Frisch 3rd B. – N.Y. Giants
Larry Gardner 3rd B. – Cleveland
Walter Gerber S.S. – St. Louis American (horizontal)
Charles Glazner P. – Pittsburgh
Hank Gowdy C. – Boston Braves
J.C. Graney O.F. – Cleveland
Tommy Griffith R.F. – Brooklyn National
Charles Grimm 1st B. – Pittsburgh (horizontal)
Heinie Groh 3rd B. – N.Y. Giants
Byron Harris P. – Phila. Athletics
Sam Harris 2nd B. – Washington (horizontal)
Harry Heilman R.F. – Detroit American
Claude Hendrix P. – Chicago Cubs
Walter Henline C. – Phila. National
Chas. Hollocher S.S. – Chicago Cubs
Harry Hooper R.F. – Chicago American
Rogers Hornsby 2nd B. – St. Louis National
Waite Hoyt P. – N.Y. Yankees
Wilbert Hubbell P. – Phila. National
Wm. Jacobson C.F. – St. Louis American
Walter Johnson P. – Washington
Jimmy Johnston 3rd B. – Brooklyn National
Joe Judge 1st B. – Washington
Geo. “Bingo” Kelly 1st B. – N.Y. Giants
Dick Kerr P. – Chicago American
Pete Kilduff  – Brooklyn (bending-horizontal)
Pete Kilduff  – Brooklyn (leaping)
Larry Kopf – Cincinnati
H.B. Leonard P. – Detroit American
Harry Liebold C.F. – Boston American
Walter “Buster” Mails P. – Cleveland
Walter “Rabbit” Maranville S.S. – Pittsburgh (horizontal)
Carl Mays P. – N.Y. Yankees
Lee Meadows P.  Phila. National
Bob Meusel R.F. – N.Y. Yankees
Emil Meusel L.F. – N.Y. Giants
J.C. Milan C.F. – Washington
Earle Neale R.F. – Phila. National
Albert Nehf P. – N.Y. Giants
Robert Nehf P. – N.Y. Giants
Bernie Neis O.F. – Brooklyn
Joe Oeschger P. – Boston Braves
Robert O’Farrell C. – Chicago National
Ivan Olson S.S. – Brooklyn National (horizontal)
Steve O’Neill C. – Cleveland
Geo. Paskert O.F. – Chicago National
Roger Peckinpaugh S.S. – Boston Red Sox (horizontal)
Herb Pennock P. – Boston Red Sox
Ralph “Cy” Perkins C. – Phila. Athletics
Scott Perry P. – Phila Athletics
Jeff Pfeffer P. – St. Louis National
V.J. Picinich C. – Washington
Walter Pipp 1st B. – N.Y. Yankees
Derrill Pratt 2nd B. – Boston American
Goldie Rapp 3rd B. – Phila. National
Edgar Rice 3rd B. – Washington
Jimmy Ring P. – Phila. National
Eddie Rousch C.F. – Cincinnati
Babe Ruth L.F. – N.Y. Yankees
Raymond Schmandt 1st B. – Brooklyn Nationals
Everett Scott S.S. – Boston Red Sox
Joe Sewell S.S. – Cleveland Americans (horizontal)
Wally Shang C. – N.Y. Yankees
Maurice Shannon S.S. – Phila. Athletics
Bob Shawkey P. – N.Y. Yankees
Urban Shocker P. – St. Louis American
George Sisler 1st B. – St. Louis American (horizontal)
Earl Smith C. – N.Y. Giants
John Smith Outfield – St. Louis National
Sherrod Smith P. – Brooklyn National
Frank Snyder C. – N.Y. Giants (crouching)
Frank Snyder C. – N.Y. Giants (standing)
Tris Speaker C.F. – Cleveland
Vernon Spencer O.F. – N.Y. Giants
Chas. “Casey” Stengle O.F. – N.Y. Giants
Milton Stock – St. Louis American (fielding)
Milton Stock  – St. Louis American (batting)
James Vaughn P. – Chicago National
Robert Veach S.S. – Detroit American
Wm. Wambsgauss 2nd B. – Cleveland
Aaron Ward 3rd B. – N.Y. Americans
Zach Wheat L.F. – Brooklyn National
George Whitted O.F. – Pittsburgh National (batting)
George Whitted O.F. – Pittsburgh National (fielding-horiz’l)
Fred C. Williams C.F. – Phila. National
Arthur Wilson C. – Pittsburgh
Ivy Wingo C. – Cincinnati
Lawton Witt O.F. – Phila. Athletics
“Pep” Young S. S. – Detroit American (horizontal)
Ross Young R.F. – N.Y. Giants