Produced in 1914 by the Cardinet Candy Company based in California, the E224 Texas Tommy set is a rare candy issue that came after the early American Caramel lithographic cards and before the popular 1930s Goudeys. Here’s a closer look at this unique and difficult issue.
E224 Texas Tommy Basics
The E224 Texas Tommy cards were issued with Cardinet’s Texas Tommy candy bars. Exactly where the name for that product came is unclear. However, it was probably taken from the name of a popular dance.
The ‘Texas Tommy’ was a swing-style dance that became popular right around 1910, shortly before these cards were distributed. It might seem odd to name a candy bar after a dance but that is likely what happened here. A telltale sign is that, not only was the dance established about the same time as these cards, but it also originated from San Francisco while Cardinet was located in nearby Oakland.
The cards were one of the few at the time using real pictures of players. More sets using those types of images would come later but most of the sets around the same time were using color lithographs.
Finally, two types of Texas Tommy cards are known. Larger cards (Type 1) actually measure similarly to today’s baseball cards (approximately 2 3/8″ x 3 1/2″) but a smaller issue (Type 2) also exists and is approximately 1 7/8″ x 3″. Both types are extremely rare and most of the cards in the set have only a handful of known examples, but Type 2 is generally more difficult to find. In addition, Type 1 cards included a biography on the back while Type 2 cards were blank-backed.
E224 Texas Tommy Stars
A total of 66 cards are included among the two types and there is a little overlap with some stars appearing in both.
Leading the way are Honus Wagner, Joe Jackson, and Ty Cobb lead the way with Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson not far behind. Other big names include Nap Lajoie, Zack Wheat, Connie Mack, Eddie Plank, Smoky Joe Wood, Home Run Baker, Hal Chase, Sam Crawford, Frank Chance, John McGraw, Johnny Evers, Rube Marquard, and others.
Wagner, Johnson, and Wood are a few of the players found in both Types.
E224 Texas Tommy Prices
E224 Texas Tommy cards are not easy to find and, thus, pretty expensive. They are rarely available outside of major auction houses and hard for type collectors to locate.
In addition, due to the extreme rarity of them, collectors can’t really afford to be too picky when it comes to condition. Type 1 commons, even in low-grade, are rarely under $1,000, and Type 2 commons can be as much as double that. A Chief Meyers Type 2, for example, sold this year for nearly $2,000 in an REA Auction.
The stars, of course, are considerably more. A Honus Wagner Type 2 graded SGC 20 sold for $16,450 in 2008. A John McGraw sold in April 2016 for $3,000.
The cards may surface on eBay on rare occasion, but generally are not found there.