Many average collectors may have never seen one in person or even known they exist but you could probably round up every 1915 E106 American Caramel card and fit them into a good-sized shoe box. It’s one of those early sets that rarely gets any attention but is thousands of times harder to collect than something like T206.
In cooperation with Just Collect, our Vintage Buy of the Week is a fresh E106 Nap Lajoie, purchased by the company at last weekend’s Greater Boston Sports Collectors Club show. There are fewer than 25 known graded examples of the Lajoie, making it much harder to find than many of the hobby’s so-called ‘rarities’. The card is currently up for bid via Just Collect’s weekly auctions.
Graded SGC 30, the Lajoie is among fewer than 1,000 total cards in the E106 issue that have ever been graded by PSA, SGC or Beckett Grading. A slightly glossy surface has made cards from the set susceptible to creasing and other noticeable wear and most examples are poor or fair.
The 48-card E106 set was issued by the York, PA-based American Caramel Company for distribution with what were advertised as ‘baseball caramels’. In fact, the set was issued much earlier than many of the popular caramel card sets that populate the hobby’s pre-War checklists.
Much of the player artwork is exactly the same as the earlier E90-1 and E92 issues and that could be one reason why prices have been held relatively in check.
The set includes two different Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb cards each, Christy Mathewson, Tris Speaker, Eddie Plank and several other stars of the day. Each card measures 1 /12” x 2 ¾”. The cards and unnumbered and contain the promotional message from American Caramel on the back.
The Lajoie card wasn’t the only significant purchase for Just Collect in Boston. The company also landed a 1935 National Chicle Football set, a 1939 Play Ball near set which is being sold card by card, some post-War vintage football sets and a very rare 1958 Topps TV Westerns unopened rack pack.
Just Collect sponsors our Vintage Buy of the Week. They’re always in the market for vintage cards. Looking to add to your collection? They offer hundreds of fresh items via their weekly eBay auctions.