1922 Olsen's Baseball Game with Ruth & Cobb E120 American Caramel Card Offer!
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $355.50
While this early baseball game, titled Olsen's Base Ball (manufactured in 1922 by the Olsen Games Company of Chicago, Illinois), is scarce and highly collectible in its own right, the offered example holds even greater significance for card collectors by virtue of the inclusion of its exceedingly rare original instruction sheet. Featured on the back page of the four-page fold-over instruction sheet is an advertisement showing kids how they can obtain cards that, from the front, are identical in design to the 1922 E120 American Caramel Series of 240. Pictured are the E120 cards of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb (incorrectly spelled "Cob"), along with instructions on how to obtain a set of fifteen different cards from the set (ten cents), or a "Complete set Base Ball Players, 120 leading players of the season" (50 cents). It should be noted that the backs of the cards are not pictured, so we do not know if the cards offered here are actual E120 cards (advertising for the American Caramel Company on the reverse) or perhaps are the similarly designed blank-backed W573 (a strip-card set that "borrowed" the designs of the E120 set as well), or if the Olsen Games Company simply used E120 (or W573) cards for its own purposes. Obviously, the company chose the right players to picture in promotion of the set, as today Ruth and Cobb represent the two most valuable cards in the E120 set. It is interesting to note that kids could obtain albums from the American Caramel Company containing 120 cards featuring either American or National league players (240 cards comprise the complete set), just as is offered here, meaning that the cards in this promotion probably were the official E120 cards. If so, this is one of the earliest instances known in which cards were cross promoted with another product. This is one of only a few examples of this Olsen's instruction sheet we have ever seen. The game itself is complete with its original box (5.5 x 4 x 1 inches; Ex), all sixty cards (30 red-back and 30 blue-back; each picturing an illustrated game scene depicting the "action"; Ex overall), and the paper instruction sheet (14 x 10 inches; unfolded; Vg, with normal folds and a small tear along the base of the back page). Reserve $200. Estimate $300+. SOLD FOR $355.50