1932 U.S. Caramel Baseball Cards

1932 U.S. Caramel Baseball Cards

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As one of the last sets issued with caramel products before the onslaught of gum cards in 1933, this set has long been considered to have come out in 1932 and has been identified by that year in several hobby publications and price guides. However, it has been determined that it is also a 1933 issue. U.S. Caramels issued this set of 32 cards - but only 27 baseball players - as part of a contest where the owner could send in a complete set for a prize. In order to limit the prizes given out, one card was severely limited in its print run, which created one of the scarcest cards in the hobby.

Although seen as a bridge between caramel-issued cards and gum cards of the 1930s, U.S. Caramels are actually closer in size and format to the gum cards. Jefferson Burdick thought so as well, since he assigned it the catalog number R328, thereby placing it with Goudeys, Play Ball and other gum companies' sets.

Card fronts feature a black and white photo of a player in front of a red background. His name (and nickname, in parenthesis) appears in white at the top. Backs have a card number, the players name, position and team, followed by a biographical write-up. At the bottom, the mail-in offer is spelled out: one complete set wins a baseball, and three complete sets will get a free fielder's glove. Since U.S. Caramel cards weren't exactly plentiful to begin with, the missing card that was limited was unknown for a long time. In fact, it wasn't until 1987 that #16 was discovered to be Charles Lindstrom.

The five non-baseball subjects include three boxers and two golfers. All are well-known, so individual collectors make the decision whether to add them to their base sets. Almost all of the baseball players are Hall of Famers, making few true commons. However, the cards are scarce enough that even the commons get snatched up pretty quickly on the open market.

Key 1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball Cards:

Top eBay Listings


1932 U.S. Caramel #20 - Charles "Red" Ruffing (RC) - PSA 3 -- HoF (mikedenero)

1932 U.S. Caramel #26 Lou Gehrig SGC 20 = 1.5

1932 U.S. Caramel #26 Lou Gehrig SGC 60 = 5

1932 U.S. Caramel #32 Babe Ruth SGC 20 = 1.5

1932 US Caramel #14 Ty Cobb PSA 2 (MK)

1932 US Caramel #14 Ty Cobb PSA 3

1932 U.S. Caramel #8 - Chick Hafey (RC) - PSA 6.5 - Reds HoF Rookie (mikedenero)

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Set Checklist

1932 U.S. Caramel Baseball Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 32 cards

1. Edward T. (Eddie) Collins
2. Paul (Big Poison) Waner
3. Robert T. (Bobby) Jones
4. William (Bill) Terry
5. Earl B. Combs
6. William (Bill) Dickey
7. Joseph (Joe) Cronin
8. Charles (Chick) Hafey
9. Gene Sarazen
10. Walter (Rabbit) Maranville
11. Rogers (Rajah) Hornsby
12. Gordon (Mickey) Cochrane
13. Lloyd (Little Poison) Waner
14. Tyrus (Ty) Cobb
15. Eugene (Gene) Tunney
16. Charles (Lindy) Lindstrom
17. Al Simmons
18. Anthony (Tony) Lazzeri
19. Walter (Wally) Berger
20. Charles (Large Charlie) Ruffing
21. Charles (Chuck) Klein
22. John (Jack) Dempsey
23. James (Jimmy) Foxx
24. Frank J. (Lefty) O'Doul
25. John (Sailor Jack) Sharkey
26. Henry (Lou) Gehrig
27. Robert (Lefty) Grove
28. Edward Brant
29. George Earnshaw
30. Frank (Frankie) Frisch
31. Vernon (Lefty) Gomez
32. George (Babe) Ruth

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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