In 1909, the Philadelphia Caramel Company produced its first baseball card set (E95). The following year, the company returned with the E96 Philadelphia Caramel release and a slightly larger checklist.
E96 Philadelphia Caramel Basics
The E96 Philadelphia Caramel cards were very similar to the E95 set that preceded them. The size, 1 1/2″ wide x 2 5/8″ tall, remained exactly the same. The general design on the fronts, a color picture with the player name and team was also the same. Collectors unfamiliar with the sets can easily confuse them at first glance. However, the two releases can be distinguished by the backs without much trouble.
The E96 Philadelphia cards have a 30-card checklist, which is printed on the back, as opposed to the 25-card E95 set. In addition, the E96 reverse is printed in red, not black like the 1909 set. Finally, the E96 Philadelphia Caramel set actually references the E95 set on the back. The text, “Previous series 25, making total issue 55 cards” is printed at the bottom of the reverse, clearly mentioning the first release.
E96 Philadelphia Caramel Card Stars
The E96 Philadelphia Caramel card checklist is bigger but a little thin compared to the E95 set. That E95 issue included the biggest names in the game, such as Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson. Philadelphia Caramel selected the most significant stars for its first release, leaving the E96 set less star-studded. Still, there are plenty of key cards here.
One collector favorite in this set is manager Connie Mack, who doesn’t have many cards. Mack played in the late 1800s when there simply weren’t a lot of cards available before going on to a Hall of Fame managerial career. Other Hall of Famers include Home Run Baker, Nap Lajoie, Hughie Jennings, Mordecai Brown, Joe Tinker, Fred Clarke, and Rube Marquard.
E96 Philadelphia Caramel Card Errors
While there are only 30 cards in the entire set, the Philadelphia Caramel Company still managed to print its fair share of mistakes. In particular, the company made four spelling errors in the release. Players that had their names misspelled include Frank Arellanes, Jack Pfiester, Chief Meyers, and Hall of Famer Fred Clarke.
E96 Philadelphia Caramel Card Prices
Despite the small quantity of cards, piecing together an E96 set is not an inexpensive venture. Mid-grade commons at the lower end of the spectrum can sell for $100 – $200 with stars selling for much higher, depending on the player and grade involved.
Complete sets are rare, but do occasionally surface on the auction block. One lower-to-mid grade set sold for over $6,500 in 2014. If you want higher quality cards, however, expect to pay much more. A mid-grade set, which included several of the highest-graded specimens in PSAs registry, brought nearly $25,000 at auction approximately eight years ago.
You can see several dozen E96 cards listed for sale and auction by clicking here.
E96 Philadelphia Caramel Card Checklist
- Harry Davis
- Connie Mack
- Ira Thomas
- Home Run Baker
- Red Dooin
- George McQuillan
- Ed Konetchy
- Ed Karger
- Mike Mowrey
- Red Murray
- Nap Lajoie
- Claude Rossman
- Nap Rucker
- Hughie Jennings
- Bill Donovan
- Jim Delahanty
- George Mullin
- Frank Arellanes
- Tubby Spencer
- Johnny Kling
- Jack Pfiester
- Mordecai Brown
- Joe Tinker
- Fred Clarke
- George Gibson
- Babe Adams
- Red Ames
- Rube Marquard
- Buck Herzog
- Chief Meyers
(Checklist denotes correctly spelled names)