Group Break Results Roundup: 2 Breaks Worth of Nachos Grande

The epic post you are about to read was started back in early July. Some of these jokes might staler than Chris Harris’ excellent gum, but the cards sure aren’t.

I want to start out by saying that I absolutely loved the Nachos Grande summer of group break love. FanofReds was busting a ton of older products, which is something I tend to gravitate towards anyway, and my collection is really lacking in cards from the late-90’s to early-2000’s, so this was a nice chance to fill in some blanks.

These nachos came with some extra cheese, and heavy on the jalapenos, just the way I likes ’em. I’m probably at least the 27th card blogger to make a reference along those same lines, which makes me as original as the Panini design team. Zing!

Now this story I’m about to unfold took place back in mid June–just about the time of our conflict with Wiener and the Twitter-rati. Remember that guy? I started this post so long ago, that even the pop-culture references are dated. 

I only mention it ’cause some- times there’s a man–I won’t say a hee-ro, ’cause what’s a hee-ro?–but sometimes there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Beard here– sometimes there’s a man who, wal, he’s the man for his time’n place, he fits right in there–and that’s the Beard, in Nachos Grande’s June group break.


I didn’t quite crush this break like I did in June, but consider it an appetizer to a tantalizing main course. If memory serves, this month’s menu included boxes of Fleer Mystique, Topps Tek, ’93 Upper Deck, and Upper Deck HoloGrFX. I know I had the Orioles team slot, and may have even picked up another team as well, hoping to score an extra hit. I’m greedy like that.

'00 Fleer Mystique Mike Mussina & Will Clark

'93 Upper Deck Iron & Steal (Ripken & Anderson)

Round these parts, in 1993, this was one of THE cards you had to have in your collection. I remember trying to trade my best friend for this card about 100 times, and offering up cards worth well more than this fairly common insert, but still got shot down every time. I think I eventually ended up pulling one at some point, but ’93 was the last year I purchased cards before storming back to the hobby in 2007. It’s nice to see this card again.

'99 Upper Deck HoloGrFX Albert Belle Launchers insert

Sweet card of a giant bunghole. Somebody get this bunghole some TP, please. I alway catch grief for my feelings towards Belle, but the dude was a douchebag, and ended up costing my favorite terrible baseball team a lot of money in the process.

'00 Fleer Mystique & '00 Topps Tek Cal Ripken Jr.

I wasn’t a big Cal fan as a child, and even still, he isn’t among my top 3 favorite Orioles of all-time, despite his greatness as a player. That being said, he is probably the biggest  money player, at least cards-wise, that the Orioles have, and it’s always easy to trade or sell my Ripkens if I feel so inclined. I’ve accumulated a lot of his cards this summer, between the Nachos Grande breaks, and the Community Gum Fleer fest from a few month’s back. I can definitely tell you that there’s a certain Ripken card coming up later in this post that is certainly not FS or FT ever. EVER! Oh, and how freaking cool was Topps Tek? All cards are printed on clear plastic, with various foils and the like. I’m sure condition isn’t really an issue, since it’s much harder to soften plastic corners than it is their cardboard counterparts. The cards just seem cooler than your average run of the mill cardstock common, and I would like to see cards printed on clear plastic make a comeback, but only as an insert set. I think Topps really missed a chance for some interesting reprints in the year of their Diamond Anniversary. Granted, the year isn’t over yet, but I would have loved to have seen some more reprints along the lines of the ’94 Best inserts from this year’s Bowman release. Instead, Topps has been predictable and safe with their reprint inserts. Go figure.


This is where things start to get really good. Consider the two Ripken cards that ended the last break as foreshadowing, cause you are about to get assaulted by images of the Iron Man.

The June Group Break was made up of another nice line-up of older products. Fleer Mystique was replaced by Fleer Showcase, and was joined by a box each of  Topps Gallery and Topps Reserve. Once again the price was low, and I snatched up the Orioles spot as soon as I could. I don’t remember how I ended up with the Phillies as my secondary team, but it proved to be a good move, however it ended up happening.

'00 Fleer Showcase Cal Ripken base & Consumate Prose insert

That insert has to be one of the ugliest cards I have ever seen! It looks like something that you would see in one of those cheesy unlicensed or half-licensed sets from the early 90’s. I think most of us know why Fleer isn’t around anymore, but in the rear view, some of their products were pretty cool. It’d be nice to have some semblance of variety on the market right now. How long can the single manufacturer system survive? It’s obviously not what collectors and consumers want.

'00 Topps Gallery Cal Ripken Jr. mini-bip.

That is a whole lot of Cal right there. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Topps Gallery, but none the less, 2 of these cards are definitely for trade. The Ripkens just keep on coming, don’t they? I’ll give you a bit of Ripken relief before we get to the grand finale.

There were only 2 autos pulled for the entire group break, and I was lucky enough to land both of them. They also both happen to be pretty damned nice too, which was a bonus for sure.

Topps Reserve Jimmy Rollins autographed mini helmet

This was all I got from the Topps Reserve box. Not a single card. Do I care? Not one bit. It’s pretty cool that every box of 2002 Topps Reserve came with an autographed mini helmet, and Rollins is a decent pull to boot.

A closer look at the Rollins autograph

The signature is a little sloppy around the edges. Jimmy must’ve been using an old paint pen when this puppy was signed. If anyone is interested, I am willing to trade this helmet away to a Phillies or Rollins fan.

This last card is a whopper of a doozy, and one I would have loved to have been able to pull for myself. In a way, I guess I did pull it for myself, but it would have been even better to have been thumbing through the pack, and found this sucker hiding underneath a Gerald Laird base card.

'00 Fleer Showcase Cal Ripken Jr. Fresh Ink autograph

Boo-yah! The first Ripken autograph that I have ever sort of pulled for myself. It’s on-card too! FanofReds did a great job getting to me in good condition as well. The corners on this card are amazingly sharp for having been foil-wrapped and banged around for 11 years. Trust me people, the scan just doesn’t do this card justice. She’s a beaut, and I am thrilled!

Talk about absolutely murdering a group break. I absolutely hit it out of the park on this one. Think I got my sixteen dollars worth out of this group break slot? I certainly think so.

Thanks again for hosting an excellent summer’s worth of breaks, Nachos Grande. If you decide to do it again next summer, I am definitely in!



3 responses to “Group Break Results Roundup: 2 Breaks Worth of Nachos Grande

  1. I was extremely stoked to pull that card even knowing it wasn’t going into my collection! This was a great summer of hits for my group breaks, the Ripken, the Pujols dual relic, and the Bench jumbo relic jump to mind as probably three of the best cards I’ve ever pulled out of a pack – and to think they all happened during group breaks! If all goes well, I’ll be doing a similar thing next summer – thanks for your participation!

  2. Great cards all around. Its a dream of mine to pull a Ripken autograph from a pack.

  3. Grief caught. Belle cost your team money because he had a degenerative hip condition, not because he was a douche. He was on your payroll all three years after he retired due to an insurance policy (which cost you a 40 man roster spot) but insurance covered most of it. He was a huge jerk but the dude could mash.

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