Gritting It Out

Today found me trucking along rather well – we got out for a short drive to pick up coffee (to-go, of course) and tacos (also to-go) from some of our favorite spots. Even with the belts tightened around these parts, we do want to support our friends and family in the industry whenever we are able to justify a morsel of luxury. That lifted our collective spirits, I think. I knocked out a good batch of job applications, spent some time with Lil, and come the afternoon I had an interview request sitting in my inbox (along with a rejection, but oh well). Given how crazy and uncertain things are, receiving something other than the canned “we’ve received your application,” email is really nice. Getting an actual follow-up felt life-saving. I’m not saying this is over, by any stretch, but at least it feels that this isn’t in vain.

Blogging has made me feel a bit more normal as well, even if all I’m mainly doing is recapping old trades. I suppose its one of those small things I have control over, so it helps me to not fret about the rest of this craziness. These cards of hometown hero Greg Swindell came from Gerald (kapa64 at TCDB) in January, and are the Gold and Silver Signature parallels from 1995 Collector’s Choice.* It seems my scanner is starting to go on one side. It’s probably time to replace the old goat. It’s extremely hard to tell in the scan, but the gold signature is the one on the left.

*Not to be confused with 1995 Collector’s Choice SE, which was released prior to this set, back when it was uncertain as to whether we would have a baseball season. Hey, that sounds familiar…

Some of my other hometown favorites made the trade as well, like these two flamethrowers. The Wagner comes from 1997 Donruss Preferred, and is a rather sharp card in hand. The Unit is from 1998 Tek, and I loooooove me some Tek cards. I think I’m going to try for the full 1999 set* at some point.

*A single copy of each player, not a master set, so hold your horses.

Speaking of late-90’s ‘Stros, here’s another trio, from Upper Deck’s 1999 “salad tongs” set. If not for the diagonal foil sides, this could be a really sharp set. Yes, that’s a Biggio lurking on the left side, and my lengthy bullpen pal Scott Elarton in the center.

There were another handful of Biggio cards in the trade as well. Missing Biggios are typically easier for me to find than missing Bagwells at this point. This trio is 2001 Upper Deck, 2002 Topps Gold (look at that lovely non-orange border!) and 2005 Upper Deck Update.

My favorite Biggio was this rad insert from 2000 Upper Deck MVP, called Pure Grit. Biggio was grit, in our minds. A gamer, excellent defensively, smaller in size, and always dirty. I’m actually surprised his uniform doesn’t have a huge dirt streak down it here, so it must be the top of the 1st inning.

Ok, so that statement at the beginning of the last paragraph is slightly inaccurate. That’s because my favorite Biggio card in this swap is really a Bagwell card. That’s this serial-numbered Mozaics insert featuring the Killer B’s 2.0, from 2005 Donruss Zenith.

And while I said Biggios are often easier to come by, I was able to pick up another pair of new Bagwell cards in this trade: a 2002 Sweet Spot card, featuring Bagwell floating stupefied in the clouds, and this delightfully trippy Power Trip insert from 1999 Upper Deck Victory. I guess both of these are trippy in their own way. Perhaps future Bagwell is amazed because he saw or recalled past Bagwell psychedelically knocking spring training dingers. Who can know for sure?

If the recent postings are any indication, I’ll be back in a day or two with another old trade entry and a small update on our social isolation. We should get to see my parents this weekend, and I think that’s something everyone in the family needs at the moment.

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