The E92 set isn’t among the easiest to complete. The cards, compared to other pre-war caramel issues, are somewhat plentiful but with a few high-end issues in the set, it can be a grind to complete. Four different back sponsors were utilized in this release and one stands out as the most affordable option for set collectors – the 1909 E92 Dockman issue.
E92 Dockman Basics
The pictures for the E92 cards matched those of several sets, including the later E106 release. All four sponsors (Dockman, Croft Candy, Croft Cocoa, and Nadja) were candy companies and utilized the same images and largely the same checklists. They all also include color lithographs and measure 1 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall.
Backs of the cards are interesting in that they include not only an advertisement for John H. Dockman and Sons, but also state that there are 50 cards in the set. That is incorrect as only 40 actually reside in the issue. Perhaps there were plans to include their advertisement on more but today, we know of only 40 different Dockman cards.
Why E92 Dockman?
Of the four different issues, Dockman is the one that most collectors select if trying to complete a set. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why.
For one thing, the Dockman set contains the fewest amount of cards with only 40 – ten fewer than both of the Croft’s issues and 22 less than the Nadja’s. That, of course, makes collecting the set a bit easier.
Set quantity isn’t the real driver here, though. The biggest reason the Dockman issue is popular for set collectors? They’re easily the most available and, as a result, most affordable. Dockman card are, by far, the easiest to find. In SGC’s pop report, for example, they are graded approximately four times more than any of the cards from the other three sponsors. The cards aren’t necessarily cheap but they are generally more affordable than the others.
Finally, the set has not only fewer cards in totality, but fewer big name cards. Every Dockman card is included in the other three sets. But there are a few big names that are avoided making it more affordable.
E92 Dockman Stars
The E92 Dockman set included numerous stars despite it being a pretty small release. The set is anchored by two Honus Wagner cards (a batting and a fielding pose), which account for the bulk of its value. Also here are Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Cy Young, Joe Tinker, John McGraw, Hughie Jennings, Sam Crawford, Frank Chance, and Chief Bender, among several other key players, such as Hal Chase.
But in the end, it is missing several important cards that are found in the other sets. While that is kind of a bummer from a checklist standpoint, it also makes collecting the set much more affordable. At the top of the list is Ty Cobb, who doesn’t appear in the Dockman set but
is in the other three. Others not included in the Dockman issue are a striped card version of Bender, and other Hall of Famers such as and Eddie Collins, Johnny Evers, Roger Bresnahan, and Bobby Wallace. Those omissions, particularly Cobb’s, represent considerable cost savings.
E92 Dockman Prices
As mentioned earlier, the E92 Dockman cards are the most affordable of the bunch. Mid-grade commons usually start in the $50-$75 range. The lesser Hall of Famers usually begin in the $150-$200 range. Wagner’s cards are the most expensive and the fact that there are two in the set doesn’t help. A PSA 5 of his batting variation sold for nearly $4,000 in 2015. Even in low-grade condition, it’s a pricey card. Earlier this year, an altered Wagner still fetched more than $1,000.
Don’t get me wrong – the set is still difficult to complete. But if you’re looking to assemble an E92 issue and looking for the easiest way out, Dockman is your man, so to speak.
You can see E92 Dockman & Sons cards for sale on eBay by clicking here.