I was not born in the place I grew up. I do not currently live in the place I grew up.
I was born in Oregon. I was raised in California. I was a missionary in Illinois. I was a college graduate in Idaho. I became a father and teacher in Texas. While I might not have the roadmap resume of a military brat, I have lived in a few different places, and as such, have ties to different cities and states.
I love all of those places (with the possible exception being Idaho, though I still had some good memories there). I still consider myself a San Diegan, but I feel like the longer I'm away, and the more roots I put down in the Lone Star State, the more Texan I'm becoming.
Maybe it's the choice we made (after praying about it) to move to Texas and start our family here. Maybe it's because my kids were born in Texas. Maybe it's starting my career as a teacher in Texas. Maybe its because I pledge allegiance to the Texas flag every morning after the American flag. Maybe it's because the majority of the baseball games I attend are in Texas (I've been to three or four Round Rock Express games and a San Antonio Missions game since my last Padres game). Maybe it's something else, or a combination of all of these things.
Whatever the reason, I feel like I'm becoming more of a Texan.
Here is a card of a guy I've never heard of: Logan Vick. Not really a big fan of Bowman, or the Indians, but dang if I don't like the cards with a backdrop of the Texas Flag. I picked up a few cheap Padre cards on eBay from a seller, and added this to the order for a buck. Normally, I'm not a big fan of the "State Flag" parallels that I've seen, but it's usually because I don't know what most of the state flags look like. The Texas flag is a very recognizable one, at least for me.
Here's the back of Vick's card. Turns out that he was born (and even though it doesn't say it here, went to high school) in Kerrville, TX. Haven't made it out to Kerrville, but considered applying for a job there a few summers ago. Not a huge town, almost an hour west of San Antonio. Hometown of new Browns backup quarterback Jonathan Manziel.
Anyways, I feel like it's been hard to find Padre cards that want that are in my price range, so I'm going to see how many of the "Hometown" parallels I can track down with the Texas flag in the background. At first, I didn't think it'd be much of a list. This is Football Country, right?
Well, turns out the list is a little longer than I thought. Some pretty big names as well:
8 - Joe Nathan
13 - Evan Gattis
18 - Austin Jackson
37 - Will Middlebrooks
74 - David Freese
81 - Jarred Cosart
82 - Hunter Pence
96 - Anthony Rendon
100 - Clayton Kershaw
133 - Homer Bailey
135 - Michael Wacha
140 - Chris Davis
169 - Shelby Miller
174 - Michael Choice
182 - Andrew Cashner
206 - Jonathan Lucroy
BP1 - Jason Hursch (Braves)
BP5 - Mark Appel (Astros)
BP21 - Billy McKinney (A's)
BP51 - Hunter Dozier (Royals)
BP89 - Michael Ratterree (Brewers)
BP100 - Brian Ragira (Giants)
One down, 23 to go.
By the way, I guess I haven't said it yet, but Texas is a pretty great state to live in. I mean, you can't really choose where to be born or where to be raised, but you can choose where to live. So far, so good.
EDIT: Picked up my first (and probably last) rack pack of Bowman and was able to knock the Jay Bruce off the list. Nice.