Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1994 Fleer Ultra Series 1 Baseball

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Fleer debuted their Ultra brand in 1991 as a premium offering to go along with their regular Fleer release. Originally planned to be called Fleer Elite, the name was changed to Fleer Ultra after Donruss released their Elite Series insert cards. Ultra seemed to be a hit with collectors, and as the years went on became known for their variety of insert cards. Ultra had a 17-year run in baseball that ended following the 2007 release.

1994 Fleer Ultra Baseball was split into two series, each with 300 base cards. The base design features a borderless design with gold foil names, logos and accents on the front. A new addition to the 1994 set, each pack contained an insert card from one of six different insert sets. Insert odds varied from 1:3 packs for Award Winners to the 1:36 Home Run Kings. When it first came, 1994 Fleer Ultra packs carried a $2 price tag.

Fun Facts are provided by Bleacher Report National MLB Columnist Joel Reuter. You can follow Joel on Twitter (@JoelReuterBR) and check out his work at Bleacher Report.

1994 Fleer Ultra Series 1 Baseball Box Break

Cards per pack: 14
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $24

Shop for 1994 Fleer Ultra Series 1 Baseball boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Marquis Grissom & Jeffrey Hammonds Second Year Standouts (1:11 packs)

Pack 1 fun fact: Jeffrey Hammonds had one of the most glaring “Coors Field Effect” seasons of all-time in 2000 when he made his lone All-Star appearance. He hit .399 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI at home, compared to .275 with six home runs and 35 RBI on the road.

Pack 2:

Rondell White, John Smoltz & Jay Bell Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 3:

Andre Dawson, Cecil Fielder, Paul O’Neill, Lou Whitaker, Mike Piazza & John Kruk Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 3 fun fact: Lou Whitaker ranks sixth all-time among second baseman with 75.1 WAR. The five guys ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame, along with several guys below him, including Ryne Sandberg (68.0), Roberto Alomar (67.0) and Craig Biggio (65.5).

Pack 4:

Cal Ripken, Jr., Kevin Mitchell, John Olerud, Tom Glavine & Fred McGriff Home Run Kings (1:36 packs)

Pack 5:

John Kruk & Matt Williams Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 5 fun fact: At a time when the first base position was stacked with prolific power hitters, John Kruk made the NL All-Star team three years in a row from 1991-93 while hitting a combined 45 home runs. He batted .311/.407/.472 during that three-year span.

Pack 6:

John Smoltz, Rondell White, Wade Boggs & Tom Henke Firemen (1:11 packs)

Pack 7:

Jeff Kent, Juan Gonzalez, Frank Thomas & Robby Thompson Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 7 fun fact: Juan Gonzalez led the AL in home runs (46) and slugging (.632) during the 1993 season, earning his first All-Star selection in the process.

Pack 8:

Deion Sanders, Cliff Floyd, Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff & Darren Daulton Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 9:

John Kruk & Mark Grace Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 9 fun fact: Mark Grace won four Gold Glove Awards during the 1990s. Only eight first basemen won more in their career.

Pack 10:

Double Darren Daultons! A base cards and a Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 11:

Bernie Williams, Albert Belle, Mo Vaughn, Lou Whitaker, Mike Piazza & Darren Daulton Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 11 fun fact: At his peak, Darren Daulton finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting in back-to-back seasons in 1992 and 1993. He led the NL with 109 RBI in ’92.

Pack 12:

Kevin Brown, Kenny Lofton & Omar Vizquel Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 13:

Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones, Paul Molitor, Moises Alou & John Olerud League Leaders (1:11 packs)

Pack 13 fun fact: John Olerud was still hitting over .400 on Aug. 2 during the 1993 season on his way to an AL-leading .363 batting average.

Pack 14:

Wade Boggs, Andre Dawson, Cecil Fielder & Robin Ventura Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 15:

Albert Belle, Lou Whitaker, Mo Vaughn, Bernie Williams & Jason Bere Second Year Standouts (1:11 packs)

Pack 15 fun fact: Jason Bere finished runner-up in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1993, going 12-5 with a 3.47 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 142.2 innings.

Pack 16:

John Olerud, Tom Glavine & Roberto Alomar Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 17:

John Smoltz & Darren Daulton Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 17 fun fact: John Smoltz pitched 243.2 innings during the 1993 season, one of four Atlanta Braves pitchers to toss at least 220 frames. A different time…

Pack 18:

Paul O’Neill, Andre Dawson, Cecil Fielder, Mike Piazza & Don Mattingly Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 19:

Brad Ausmus & Kirt Manwaring Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 19 fun fact: Brad Ausmus was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 48th round of the 1987 draft. He was then selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 Expansion Draft and traded at the deadline in 1993 before he made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres.

Pack 20:

Ken Griffey, Jr., Dave Stewart & Rafael Palmeiro League Leaders (1:11 packs)

Pack 21:

Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Lance Johnson & Mark Langston Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 21 fun fact: Lance Johnson had six straight seasons with double-digit triples, including a 21-triple season in 1997 when he also batted .333 and led the NL with 227 hits.

Pack 22:

Barry Bonds, Ivan Rodriguez & Brent Gates Second Year Standouts (1:11 packs)

Pack 23:

Tony Gwynn, Tino Martinez & Devon White Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 23 fun fact: Devon White won seven Gold Glove Awards during his 17-year career. He was also the first All-Star in Arizona Diamondbacks franchise history.

Pack 24:

Deion Sanders, Ken Griffey, Jr., Dave Stewart & Darren Daulton Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 25:

Tim Salmon, Gary Sheffield, Dante Bichette & Kenny Lofton Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 25: Dante Bichette hit 201 home runs in seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies. That total is good for sixth in franchise history.

Pack 26:

Rod Beck, Kenny Lofton & Duane Ward Firemen (1:11 packs)

Pack 27:

Luis Gonzalez, Tony Gwynn & Ken Griffey, Jr. Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 27 fun fact: Luis Gonzalez hit .300/.361/.457 with 34 doubles, 15 home runs, 72 RBI and 20 steals during the 1993 season. His power came later, but he was a solid player early in his career.

Pack 28:

Gary Sheffield, Dante Bichette, Tim Salmon, Travis Fryman, Ivan Rodriguez & John Kruk Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 29:

Tony Gwynn, Kenny Lofton, Kevin Brown & Greg Maddux Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 29 fun fact: Kevin Brown had a 127 ERA+ in 3,256.1 innings pitching at the peak of the Steroid Era. His 68.2 WAR ranks 33rd all-time among pitchers. How did he only get 2.1 percent of the Hall of Fame vote?

Pack 30:

Tino Martinez, Luis Gonzalez & Roberto Hernandez Firemen (1:11 packs)

Pack 31:

Darren Daulton & Larry Walker Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 31 fun fact: Larry Walker is one of 19 outfielders in MLB history with at least seven Gold Glove Awards.

Pack 32:

Gregg Jefferies, Mo Vaughn, Albert Belle, Bernie Williams & John Kruk Phillies Finest (1:6 packs)

Pack 33:

Kevin Brown, Tony Gwynn, Kenny Lofton & Marquis Grissom Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Pack 33 fun fact: Kenny Lofton (433) and Marquis Grissom (381) are two of five players with at least 350 steals during the 1990s. Anyone have a guess at the other three?

Pack 34:

Chipper Jones, Paul Molitor, Moises Alou & Jack McDowell League Leaders (1:11 packs)

Pack 35:

Paul O’Neill, Lou Whitaker, Cecil Fielder, Andre Dawson, Mike Piazza, Wade Boggs & Kenny Lofton League Leaders (1:11 packs)

Pack 35 fun fact: Paul O’Neill joined the Yankees in 1993 as a 30-year-old with one All-Star appearance in eight seasons. He went on to make four All-Star appearances in his first six seasons in New York.

Pack 36:

Albert Belle, Bernie Williams, Mo Vaughn & Barry Bonds Award Winners (1:3 packs)

Lastly, the Albert Belle card back. Though I do prefer full career stat lines, I definitely appreciate three different action shots.

I really like the base set. For 1994, this was not bad at all. Luckily the collation of the inserts was good and I was able to pull 17 different Award Winners inserts from this one box. The Firemen insert cards look a little goofy to me, but then again, it was the ’90s.

Phillies Finest is an insert set I could do without. I just don’t really get it. Yes, they were NL Champions in 1993, but they did lose to the Blue Jays in the World Series. Also, couldn’t they have highlighted any other players? Five different cards each of Kruk and Daulton, to me at least, just seems like overkill. In my opinion, Series 2 had the better insert cards, but we will have to look at those another time.

My favorite insert in this set has to be Home Run Kings. They definitely saved their best for the toughest insert to hit in the product, and I was glad to pull one of my childhood favorites, Fred McGriff (TBS showing all of the Braves games made it really tough not to be a Braves fan back then).

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Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.

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