One of the most sought-after and yet difficult sets of the era, the U.S. Caramel issue was produced by a Boston-area confectionary company and featured 32 "famous athletes," the overwhelming majority (27) of which are baseball players. The cards were issued with a redemption offer, where a complete set could be redeemed for a free baseball, and three complete sets could be redeemed for a baseball glove. The inevitable "chase" card, the one produced in short enough supply to make the completion of a set difficult, was card #16 of Charles Lindstrom. The card was produced in such short supply that it was not discovered until the 1980s; to date less than a half dozen examples are known. Complete sets are nearly impossible, and cards are typically found in lower grades.
Presented is a seldom-seen complete set (minus the Lindstrom). 21 of the cards have been graded, either by PSA or SGC, with a breakdown as follows: PSA VG-EX 4 (1 card): #5 Combs (HOF); SGC VG/EX 4 (1 card): #4 Terry (HOF); PSA VG 3 (3 cards): #7 Cronin (HOF), #22 Jack Dempsey (boxing HOF), #20 Ruffing (HOF); SGC VG 3 (3 cards): #14 Cobb (HOF), #24 O'Doul, #28 Brandt; PSA GOOD 2 (1 card): #27 Grove (HOF); SGC GOOD 2 (4 cards): #6 Dickey (HOF), #1 Collins (HOF), #17 Simmons (HOF), #25 Sharkey (boxing HOF); SGC FR 1.5 (1 card): #11 Hornsby (HOF); PSA PR 1 (3 cards): #31 Frisch (HOF), #31 Gomez (HOF), #32 Ruth (HOF); SGC POOR 1 (3 cards): #19 Berger, #13 L. Waner (HOF), #10 Maranville (HOF); PSA AUTHENTIC (1 card): #26 Gehrig (HOF). Ungraded cards are as follows: #2 P. Waner (HOF - F); #3 Jones (Golf HOF - VG), #8 Hafey (HOF - P), #9 Sarazen (Golf HOF - P), #12 Cochrane (HOF - P), #15 Tunney (Boxing HOF - F), #18 Lazzeri (HOF - P), #21 Klein (HOF - P), #23 Foxx (HOF - P), #29 Earnshaw (G).
The 1921 U.S. Caramel set is one of the most desirable of all the caramel issues, and is the last of the caramel issues. Visually striking, each card features a bright red background, similar in nature to the Cracker Jack cards of 1914 and 1915, and includes a tremendous assortment of players, including Ty Cobb, Jack Dempsey, Lou Gehrig, Bobby Jones, Babe Ruth, and Gene Tunney, some of the greatest names in sports during this era. With average VCP values of the graded cards alone at approximately $9,600, this is an outstanding, relatively affordable of a set that is extraordinarily difficult to complete, even without the Lindstrom. 31 cards total.