#2 – Jose Vidro
#3 – Joe Horgan
#4 – Danny Rueckel
#5 – Wil Cordero
#10 – Jamey Carroll
#11 – Nick Johnson
#15 – Gary Bennett
#20 – Tony Blanco
#22 – George Arias
#24 – Phil Hiatt
#31 – Vinny Castilla
#38 – Jon Rauch
#39 – Brad Wilkerson
#42 – Carlos Baerga
#44 – Ian Desmond
#45 – Jeffrey Hammonds
#47 – Drew McMillan
#48 – Jared Sandberg
#49 – Frank Robinson
So that’s 20 cards so far. Today, let’s look at the oddball cards of the set.
2005 Topps Nationals #51
Summary: Effort. Or lack thereof. These are some pretty lazy cards. Sure, they’re covering the history of baseball in Washington, but couldn’t they have done something more visually appealing? Shown some of the old players? SOMETHING? I mean, for instance, how about this, from the Twins wikipedia page:
One of the American League’s eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1901 as the Washington Senators. In 1905 the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals. The name “Nationals” would appear on the uniforms for only 2 seasons, and would then be replaced with the “W” logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to “Nats”. Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the “Senators” nickname. Over time, “Nationals” faded as a nickname, and “Senators” became dominant. Baseball guides would list the club’s nickname as “Nationals or Senators”, acknowledging the dual-nickname situation.
Something like that would be fascinating in visual format. Oh, well.
Card Rating: 1/10 – Boring, boring, boring. Only here because I’m trying to cover the entire set.
2005 Topps Nationals #52
Summary: Again, from the Rangers wikipedia page:
The team played the 1961 season at old Griffith Stadium before moving to District of Columbia Stadium (renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969) on East Capitol Street and the Anacostia River.
How about a picture of Griffith Stadium?
Card Rating: 1/10 – See above.
2005 Topps Nationals #1
Summary: Okay, I get it. Started the set during the season, needed a card to represent the new team, blah blah. How about a team shot?
Card Rating: 1/10 – See above.
2005 Topps Nationals #50
Summary: Finally! A photograph. This card is actually kind of neat, given that I have some team memories from RFK. Getting to see the stadium as it used to be is a bit of a treat. It would have been nice to have a modern shot on the reverse, but I’ll take what I can get.
Card Rating: 5/10 – RFK was a dump, but I have some fond memories of the place. It’s nice to have a card of it.
2005 Topps Nationals #53
Summary: Right back to the boring design. I guess I can give it some credit for the colors, but that’s about it. As for that game, Terrmel Sledge and Brad Wilkerson each homered off Hayden Penn. I was able to find one picture from that game, as well:
Card Rating: 2/10 – Again, not crazy about the design, but the historical aspect of it is interesting to me.
2005 Topps Nationals #54
Summary: Now we get some more pictures, and some actual players. The photographs appear to have been taken at the same time as the pictures in the base cards. As for the subjects, man, I was stoked when these guys signed. Real major leaguers! Heh. Both turned out to be pretty decent, actually.
Card Rating: 4/10 – Even if the photography isn’t great, I do kind of dig these cards.
2005 Topps Nationals #55
Summary: Interesting that all these years later Cristian Guzman is the only one still contributing to the team. If you’d told me that years ago, when he was so horrible, I never would have bought it. Loaiza was pretty serviceable for the Nats, but damn if I can remember too much more about his tenure.
Card Rating: 4/10 – See above.