1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball Cards
1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball is a limited vintage release featuring an impressive checklist. Led by Babe Ruth, collectors have their fill of Hall of Fame talent, as well as several top golfers and boxers of the time.
As one of the last sets issued with caramel products before the onslaught of gum cards, 1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball 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 actually a 1933 issue. U.S. Caramels released this set of 32 cards, which included 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 at 2-1/2" by 3". 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.
1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball cards fronts feature a black and white photo of a player in front of a red background. The player's name, and nickname, in parenthesis, appears in white at the top. Backs have a card number, the player's name, position and team, followed by a biographical write-up. At the bottom, the mail-in offer is stipulated.
Collectors who completed the 1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball set were eligible for a free a baseball, and three complete sets yielded 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 in 1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball include three boxers and two golfers. All are well-known, especially golfer Bobby Jones, 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
Click on the images or images to shop for cards on eBay.
1933 U.S. Caramel Baseball Set Checklist
2 Paul (Big Poison) Waner
3 Robert T. (Bobby) Jones - Golf
4 William (Bill) Terry
5 Earl B. Combs
6 William (Bill) Dickey
7 Joseph (Joe) Cronin
8 Charles (Chick) Hafey
9 Gene Sarazen - Golf
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 - Boxing
16 Charles (Lindy) Lindstrom
18 Anthony (Tony) Lazzeri
19 Walter (Wally) Berger
20 Charles (Large Charlie) Ruffing
21 Charles (Chuck) Klein
22 John (Jack) Dempsey - Boxing
23 James (Jimmy) Foxx
24 Frank J. (Lefty) O'Doul
25 John (Sailor Jack) Sharkey - Boxing
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