For whatever reason, I never discussed colleges with Bru until recently, when I learned that he is a former Texas A&M Aggie. I was a bit surprised when A&M joined the SEC several years ago, though it makes sense if the Aggies are trying to get out of the sizeable shadow of the Longhorn Network. A&M people are a different breed. They don't have a fight song, for example. They have a "war hymn."
Granted, their infatuation with the University of Texas within this "war hymn" reminds me of the inferiority complex that grips the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets when it comes to their big brothers from the east, the Georgia Bulldogs.
Yeah, but I like Bru. Even if my brother-in-law is a two-time University of Texas graduate.
At any rate, let's see what Bru sent to me.
Let's start with the baseball cards that are just sort of normal, run-of-the-mill Topps and Upper Deck and Fleer -- and that sneaky appearance of B.J. Surhoff on a 1993 Leaf checklist. When I sort through cards, I find myself really liking pretty much every Fleer Ultra set, though if that was all I could collect I'd get bored quickly. They are straightforward full-bleed photos that tend to have similar designs. But, I really end up liking that 1993 Leaf set. For whatever reason, they just look good -- they look and feel special.
So, when you get down to it, that Aggie Cadet precision and drilling doesn't seem to lend itself to a thriving music scene in the same way that liberal arts schools like UGA and Texas do. Yup, sometimes having that school that doesn't help you get a job but encourages creativity helps foster a real music scene.
I looked to try to find some College Station bands or Texas A&M-graduate musicians. About all I could come up with were some American Idol contest and Lyle Lovett. Lyle Lovett it is. And that's right -- I'm not from Texas. Bru, are you originally from Texas?
The second item is identified on the back of this 8x10 glossy photo of Ted Higuera as a "TV Sports Mailbag" item. Now, this photo is labeled as being from 1988 on the back. In 1989, TV Sports Mailbag got an entry on the Trading Card Database (here is the Ted Higuera from that set), perhaps because the photos are numbered and the backs have full licensing identification, copyrights, player names, and team names.
It's a great oddball, though, to get that set's predecessor.
Lyle Lovett's sound is an old-school sound for country/blues, big on fiddles and strings and acoustic guitars and without the flash or rock-lite sounds featured by folks like Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean. Here, Lovett is covering a song that Townes Van Zandt wrote in 1977. Van Zandt is a tragic figure who died far too young in 1997 at the age of just 52 years old. His music, too, is worth a listen.
These are incredible items. All of these are 8x10 photos on cardboard. Based on design, font, photo quality, and the like, all of us Twitterers decided or figured out that they were issued by a company called T&M Sports. We figured this out because the design is eerily similar to that used by T&M for its 1989-1990 Senior League set. I already had a couple of these in the past and never knew who had issued them. I'm still not sure I've ever seen a complete set list for this set either. So, I have no idea if I have all the Brewers or not. And that's the fun part of these large cards.
It's too bad I couldn't find a good video for Lyle Lovett's biggest song, "It's Not Big, It's Large" so instead we are on "The Road to Ensenada". This is a really good song anyway.
Of course, I'm still not sure how he ended up marrying Julia Roberts. It must have been that Texas Aggie charm.
Bru, thanks for these great oddballs!