Merry Christmas from Nachos Grande

I’ve been following Chris (@Nachos_Grande) for a while now. He’s a Reds fan, Barry Larkin supercollectorm and LEGO enthusiast who blogs over at It still took me way too long to figure out that his blog was “Fan of Reds” and not “Fan o’ Freds.”

Chris has put together a couple great affordable vintage box breaks over the years that I’ve taken part in and filled in cards from my years in the wilderness. Great to deal with and a blog I enjoy reading. He recently put out a call for his season of giving which is his way of clearing out unwanted base cards he’s accumulated.

I put my name in the hat because what the hey free cards and I’ve been enjoying putting together piles of extra Giants cards for my kids so they can both catch up on cards from the past as well as get a sense of what sort of products they like.

Last week a small flat-rate box arrived and inside were all kinds of goodies wrapped in a fantastic New York Giants pennant that was apparently too large for Chris’s card room. I’m not sure where we’re going to put it here but there’s definitely a place for it and the boys will love it very much.

To the cards. Lots of duplicates but a surprising number of cards I still don’t have. So going chronologically. Two 1988 Bigs I didn’t have. Topps Big was one of my favorite sets when I was a kid and I appreciate it even more as a 1980s take on the 1956 design.

The 1994 SP John Burkett is also new to me. I didn’t sniff much of the fancy stuff when I was a kid so all those premium cards are nice to see now. The 1995 Ultra Matt Williams and 1997 Metal Shawn Estes are also new to me. I only have a couple 1997 Metals and they’re wild as all hell and are a perfect example of cards that I don’t want a bunch of but appreciate the variety they add to the binder.

And a stack of 1997 Collectors Choice. Rick Wilkens is showing because I like the photo but there’s a Jose Vizcaino in there that I actually needed too.

Moving to 1998. The Score Jeff Kent is a need. I’ve never seen the Pinnacle Performers set at all. I actually need both of the Collectors Choice cards as well as the Estes SQ insert.

1999 Upper Deck Choice is another new to me set. I was under the impression that Collectors Choice had been replaced by Victory and MVP this year but it looks like a smaller variant set of it was still around. Collectors Choice is one of the releases I really like from the late 1990s in that it mostly feels like what I want cards to be like so it’s great to discover some new ones. The Pacific Armando Rios is also new to me as a set. I collect the Spanish-Language Pacific cards but haven’t ventured into the English-language ones. I do appreciate Pacific’s  over-the-top designs though.

To 2000. The Barry Bonds Topps Stars card is a set I’ve not seen before. I need the Fleer Shawn Estes. I didn’t have any Fleer Focus from this year. And a couple of the Impact and Skybox Dominion cards are needs too. As someone who can’t keep up with the dozens of releases that Topps is putting out nowadays I have no idea how people used to keep track of multiple companies with dozens of releases.

Anyway, there were also two 2002 Topps Total cards that I didn’t have as well as a Fleer Maximum card which is new to me.

I have to admit that these years really blend together for me. This is partly because I wasn’t collecting but also just too many releases, few of which with any real identity behind different snazzy jazzy effects. Some have foil. Others have spot UV. The only ones I kind of like are the Fleer Traditions that mimic 1954 Topps and Collectors Choice.

And to the last batch. I need both the 2004 Topps Total Michael Tucker and both Fleers. I admire Topps Total’s intent. It’s great to get cards of guys who are deep down the roster but what a challenge to release in a way that makes the packs enjoyable to open. 2004 Fleer meanwhile echoes 1990 Fleer  and while the printing and photography is better, the design takes up too much real estate for my taste.

In the 2005s I found a Kirk Rueter I needed as well as the Edgardo Alfonzo Opening Day. Two Upper Deck Past Time Pennants are brand new and a nice-looking set of older players. The Monte Irvin is especially nice

The 2007 Heritage Billy Sadler is a name I don’t recognize at all. The Turkey Red Barry Zito is my first of this set. As is the Tristar Pre Debut card. I did not realize until I got this card that the Pro Debut logo is an MLB thing.

That’s a 2009 Johnny Mize insert and a decent stack of 2013 Heritage which included a bunch of the World Series cards that my kids are going to love. I needed Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong. The Romo is one of the better-looking cards of the Giants cards I have.

And that takes us through the stack. Thanks Chris and Merry Christmas to you too!.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

One thought on “Merry Christmas from Nachos Grande”

  1. Glad you liked the cards (and pennant). I love those Mitchell & Ness Pennants but I have the (slightly) smaller ones hanging in my man cave. The different sizes bugged me so I couldn’t hang that one up. I also had a smaller pennant for a different team that went out in a different “Season of Giving” package. I won’t spoil who got that one yet as the package may not have arrived quite yet.

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