While similar to the popular E90-1 set, the E90-2 American Caramel set has some differences as well. The most important distinction of the E90-2 release is that it focused on the 1909 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Here’s a closer look at this intriguing set.
The E90-2 American Caramel cards were produced in 1910, the year after the Pittsburgh Pirates won their first World Series championship and fourth National League pennant. This short 11-card set was the smallest in the E90 series and while the E90-1 cards included players in the entire league, the E90-2 cards only included Pirates. players from that team.
Another difference is found on the fronts of the cards. The E90-2 set utilized a different style of font and blue ink for the text on the front. Also missing from the E90-1 set design is the player position as the E90-2 cards included only the player’s name and team.
Yet another difference is in the pictures. First, while the E90-1 cards utilized many different types of scenery, the E90-2 cards have only solid color backgrounds. In addition, the E90-2 series depicted players in only a portrait format. E90-1 cards included some portraits but consisted mostly of action shots.
Other than that, the cards are basically the same as their E90-1 counterpart. They both measure at approximately 1 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall and include exact same backs designs.
There are a total of 11 cards in the E90-2 set and the highlight is, without a doubt, the Honus Wagner card. The other key card in the set is fellow Hall of Famer, manager Fred Clarke. Here’s a glimpse at the full checklist in alphabetical order.
Fred Clarke (Player/Manager)
Several of the players in the set played key roles in the 1909 championship. Adams set a rookie record by winning three games in the World Series, leading the way in Game 1, Game 5, and Game 7. Wagner hit .333, stole six bases, and drove in seven runs. Clarke not only managed the team, but slugged the team’s only two home runs. Leach led the team in hitting, by batting .360.
One notable player not included was Hall of Fame pitcher Vic Willis. Willis was on that Pirates 1909 team but by 1910, had joined the St. Louis Cardinals so his exclusion made sense. However, one head-scratcher was the omission of star pitcher Howie Camnitz.
Camnitz was the Pirates’ best pitcher in 1909, going 25-6 (his winning percentage of .806 led the league) with a 1.62 ERA. It’s worth pointing out that he didn’t have a good World Series, struggling in Game 2 before being used sparsely the rest of the postseason. However, leaving Camnitz out of the set looks a bit odd given his strong regular season.
E90-2 cards are pretty rare (there are usually about a dozen or so on eBay) and a bit on the pricey side. Price, of course, varies greatly by condition. However, even low-grade commons are typically $100 or more with mid-grade cards often topping $1,000.
As you might expect, the Wagner is the key card here. In 2014, a SGC 45/3.5 sold at auction for just over $5,600. In terms of finding a complete set, Wagner’s card often is the key factor in determining the value. With only 11 cards, complete sets aren’t impossible to find. One in lower-mid grade condition sold for just over $7,300 a few years ago.