The E210 York Caramel cards were produced in 1927 and 1928. While 60 cards are often cited as being included in the set, it’s not nearly that cut and dry. Here’s a closer look at this black and white caramel card issue.
E210 York Caramel Basics
The E210 York Caramel cards are different from many E-Card issues. Early caramel cards, such as the popular E90 American Caramel set, featured colorful lithographs of players. Later ones, including the 1920s American Caramel issues, used real black and white pictures of players printed on larger cards. The E210 York Caramel cards are sort of a hybrid.
Measuring approximately 1 3/8″ wide x 2 1/2″ tall, the E210 York Caramels were similar in size to the earlier caramel releases. But printed in the late 1920s, they included black and white pictures rather than the color lithographs found on many of the circa 1910s pre-war cards.
The cards have a very basic look. In addition to the picture of the player, a card number and his name was printed at the bottom. Backs included an advertisement for the cards, stating that they were part of a series of 60 players and featured the York Caramel Company name. The cards had the same layout as the F50 Tharp’s and Sweetman cards (the F50 Harrington and Yuengling are slightly different) as well as the W502 Game Back cards. The only significant difference is found on the backs. Those issues all link together in terms of a checklist, too, with many of the players/card numbers the same across the sets.
In terms of players, the E210 York Caramel cards didn’t miss a beat as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig headlined the set. In addition, other big name Hall of Famers were found, too, such as Walter Johnson, Eddie Collins, Cleveland Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Pie Traynor, Hack Wilson, Tris Speaker, George Sisler, and countless others.
Two Types of E210 York Caramel Cards
Two different types of the E210 York Caramel cards were produced. The first type was created in 1927 and the second was done in 1928. A total of 62 Type 1 cards and 59 Type 2 cards are known per this checklist. The two types look practically similar but the 1928 Type 2 cards have more of a glossy surface and the text on the back faces to the right instead of the left, which it reads on Type 1 cards. Type 2 cards are a bit more difficult to find.
The 60 cards mystery is easily solved. While that is commonly stated as the number in the set, the backs of the cards advertise that there were 60 players featured, not 60 cards. Some players, such as Ruth, have more than one variation. Technically, they use the same card number on the front but the different variations are, of course, different cards.
The 60 cards is also confusing in the context of the two types of E210 cards. Not all players/cards are found in both types. As a result, while a player in the Type 1 York Caramel set may occupy a particular card number, a different player often has that card number in the Type 2 set. The Type 2 cards were likely an unplanned extension of the Type 1 set and included many new players. Thus, while 60 players were advertised, there are significantly more than that counting both types.
E210 York Caramel Variations and Errors
The set is littered with numerous errors and variations as well – some of which are very hard to find. First, as mentioned, there were pose variations. Those include Babe Ruth and Herb Pennock. Others were print variations. Marty McManus, for example, has card backs both mentioning him as a member of Detroit and St. Louis. Finally, a few players, including Emory Rigney, features him with uniforms both with and without a team logo.
In addition, numerous corrected and uncorrected errors are present as well. These typically involved the last names of players, such as Joe Dugan (spelled Duggan), Bob O’Farrell (some spelled O’Farrel), and others. Some cards also had different players named for the ones pictured. For such a small set, there were quite a few mistakes.
E210 York Caramel Prices
While most of E210 York Caramel cards aren’t downright scarce, they are rarer than a good bit of caramel issues. But prices on them are, mostly reasonable. Commons in mid-grade shape start around $75. The Ruth cards are the generally the most expensive. This PSA 3 sold for nearly $3,000 in 2015. You can see several dozen for sale and auction on eBay here.