I was able to cross a couple of Orval Overall cards off my list recently. I managed to get the basics out of the way fairly quickly, the three T206s and the T205. I also made a nice pick up at the National, which I'll share shortly as well.
Getting beyond this point was quite difficult, but to be expected. The first card I made the plunge on is the E90-3 American Caramel Card.
In addition to cards provided in packages of cigarettes and loose tobacco, some cards were sold by candy companies as well. The American Caramel company in Philadelphia sold some of the most iconic of these cards. Included with candy, the cards were certainly aimed at children and offered in smaller sets, with most checking in around 30 cards.
The E90-3 shown above was a regional issue of 20 cards, only containing players from the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. The set contains a fairly decent number of Hall of Famers, such as Tinker, Evers, Chance, Mordecai Brown and Ed Walsh, as well as infamous Black Sox player Chick Gandil. I am especially stricken by the image, with the strong blue background and Orval Overall in mid-throwing motion, with a certain photo like quality to the card. I actually think the card is more aesthetically appealing than the T206 action poses, which appear more artful.
So, after tracking the card for a week on eBay, I made the minimum bid on the card on the last day and took the auction down that afternoon. After waiting everyday to come home to the mail, it finally arrived eight days after purchase, the same day as the below card.
The pastel portrait you see above is from Sporting Life, a former competitor of the Sporting News in the early 1900s. For some reason I have not figured out, many Sporting Life cards survived in high grade, which puts a cap on the prices. Cards were issued in series and my understanding is the Overall is one of the tougher issues. Although, there is another NM M116 Overall floating around on eBay that I looked at back and forth for quite some time, but really felt the price was way too high on the card.
When this one hit my searches, I steeled myself to make a strong bid to bring it home. I figured the card would go at a reasonable price for a card of this age and grade, as there were a fair number of these cards up for bid at once. Waiting all week as the price slowly crept up was very difficult. Finally, on Sunday, I tested the waters to see what the price would be and made my initial bid. While it did take a second bid, I was so happy to take this card home, which arrived in three days, at the same time as the E90-3 Overall above.
Given that this was one of my first forays outside my comfort zone, I am especially pleased with how everything turned out and to give these fine cards a home in my collection.