The E90-3 American Caramel set was the third of three subsets in the E90 series baseball card series. Here’s a look inside the release, which had a Chicago focus.
Similar to this E90-2 set, the E90-3 American Caramel issue was centered on players from one franchise. E90-2 featured the Pittsburgh Pirates while E90-3 included cards from only the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
Similar to the E90-1 set, the E90-3 cards featured a mix of action shots and portraits. This was a change from the E90-2 Pirates release, which included only portraits. In addition to the picture and white border, the fronts included the player names, positions, and teams. Another small change from the E90-2 set was that the text on the front was printed in black instead of blue.
The cards measure at approximately 1 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall and include similar back designs as the E90-1 and E90-2 cards. One difference on the reverse is that “All the Star Players” appears in place of the familiar “100 Subjects” tagline at the top. The other primary difference is that the printing on the back indicates that the cards were manufactured in Chicago instead of Philadelphia, which was the location for the E90-1 and E90-2 cards. Given that the cards featured only Chicago players, a local printing made sense. The Cubs, by the way, were NL pennant winners that season.
There are a total of 20 cards in the E90-3 set: 11 Chicago Cubs and nine White Sox players. Here’s a glimpse at the full checklist.
Despite only 20 cards, the set is action packed with big names. A full 25 percent of set is comprised of Hall of Famers (Brown, Chance, Evers, Tinker, and Walsh). However, like the E90-1 set, the highlight is the card of a player that doesn’t even reside in Cooperstown.
Even with so many big time players, the biggest card in the E90-3 release is easily the Gandil card. Gandil was said to orchestrate the infamous 1919 World Series scandal with the Sox and his cards are always in demand. His E90-3 card is by far the cream of the crop and the interest from ‘Black Sox’ collectors helps to drive that.
Card No. 21
While 20 cards make up a complete set, technically there are 21. The 21st card is a Hofman ‘error’ card caused by an apparent printing plate mistake. Hofman’s special card has the ‘m’ printed incorrectly and it looks like ‘Hofnlan’ on the front. The card is a rare one and not easy to find.
Similar to the E90-2 cards, E90-3s are relatively scarce and that helps keep prices healthy. Mid-grade commons generally sell for a few hundred dollars. Pricing for the Hall of Famers fluctuates depending on the player and condition. As mentioned earlier, the Gandil is the jewel of the set. A PSA 5 sold on eBay recently for nearly $1,500.
That aforementioned Hofman printing error card has fluctuated quite a bit. When it was newly discovered, a graded SGC 30 sold for just over $3,000. A similar card in the same grade sold a few years ago for less than half that. Either way, though, it’s a four-figure card.
Complete sets are available from time to time as well. If you’re looking for one, the price isn’t cheap. A complete PSA/SGC graded set sold a few years ago for just under $9,000.