Possibly My Best Group Break Haul to Date

There was a time when the Braves were the first team selected in every single group break any blog in the history of internet writing produced.  If you weren’t at your computer the second the post went live, you might as well have a second choice ready to go.

That trend continued for what seemed like 13 straight post-seasons, and for the most part I didn’t mind.  I wasn’t always collecting Greg Maddux, and I can’t exactly blame anyone for choosing a team that’s guaranteed to have quality players sent to them (especially if we’re talking 90′s cards).  But, as my Maddux collecting became more focused and fast-tracked, I wanted in.  I wanted to pry those prime year Mad Dog cards away from the 30 Altanta bloggers.

As time moved on, I noticed that I was able to get into a couple breaks picking Atlanta.  I’m not known as a first responder by any means, so if the Braves are going unclaimed long enough that I see it, then you know something has changed in the blogging world.

Whether it’s that fewer blogs are active, or just that they’re not actively participating in other people’s breaks, I can’t completely say.  What I can say is that I’m glad I have a fair shot these days, because this is one of the more successful group breaks I’ve been a part of.

Oh, and all my non-Maddux braves are available for trade.

Tough to tell, but the Chipper is the gold foil version

The break, I should mention, was hosted by Nachos Grande.  He runs a good show and a tight ship.  His group breaks are always fun to follow, because you can check back all day long and see something new.  I can’t even manage to post once a day (or even once a week sometimes), yet he fills several.

The boxes opened were 1999 Paramount, 1999 Revolution, 2002 Flair, 2003 Donruss Champions and 2004 Leather & Lumber.  Quite a good mix of products and of players.  Look at that selection up there. No wonder the Braves usually go instantly.

Not as strong of a selection here

The format was a pick one, get one random team.  As you can see, my random was the Twins.  I tried to trade it before the break started, but no one took me up on my offer.  I didn’t mind, and you’ll see why shortly.

Confusing hit!

Before I get into the meat of the break (aka Greg Maddux cards that you’re all here to see), we have to talk about the runners-up for card of the package.

Don’t let the Dodger uniform fool you, the text says Braves and that’s where the lumber shattered.  Collectors don’t have much affinity for Gary Sheffield, but he still accomplished a lot during his career.  Perhaps there’s a Sheffield collector hiding in the shadows willing to anonymously trade for this relic.

Take this relic and Puckett

Now Kirby on the other hand, does have some followers.  I already have a Puckett relic from my Archives Reserve box break (although this swatch is nicer), and I probably don’t need two.  The back says it’s from a 1992 MLB game.  He was the “hit champ” that year (their words).  Also to sweeten the deal, we have numbering! #081/250.  Not too bad for a randomly selected team.

Now on to the whole purpose of my buy-in.

Name that pitch. Circle change?

Pacific sets are so freakin’ confusing.  And usually either very, very gaudy or very, very dull.  Paramount leans towards the dull side then falls over because it fell asleep in the middle of leaning.

Can you tell the difference?

The good news is that every Pacific set has somewhere around 350 parallels and inserts for each release that aren’t clearly marked or easily identifiable.  For instance, take this gold foil one.  I know the name is large, but I still didn’t catch it right away, and I knew it was coming!  Maybe I was dozing off.

Even though I'm about to bash it, I do think it's cool looking

Then you have cards like this that look like they should be crazy mega-awesome parallels because who in their right mind would create such a beast of random shapes and colors and oh yeah it was the late 90s I forgot never mind.  So was this considered high end?

Caution: Extreme Awesomeness

You’ll poke your eye out with that thing, kid.  That’s what I call a die-cut!  The first thing that came to mind when I saw this card was that episode of The Adventures of Pete and Pete where little Pete had the epic battle against Papercut.  I’m pretty sure they used this card.

I think Flair stopped being special by this point

Oh look, your Mad Dog smells my Mad Dog!  It’s okay black & white Greg, just let him do his thing. He’ll tire himself out in about 6 more years.

And on that note, I give you the card of the break.

Okay, Flair is special again!

This may be the best card I’ve received in a group break so far.  Amazing how things lined up for me here. The Braves were available.  I get three relic cards. One of them is of my primary collecting focus.  What are the odds?  On second thought, never tell me the odds.

Thanks again to Nachos Grande for the great work he does running these breaks.  Now you guys know that if there are teams still available in one of his breaks, it pays to play.

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