2005 Topps Nationals #27
Category: Failed Prospect
Bio/Summary: Sigh. I really thought Larry was going to be something for the Nationals…there seemed to be a hole in first base once Nick Johnson left (I thought that was going to happen too), and that he’d just slide right in there. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand the nature of baseball stats and that a .343 OBP in AAA is really pretty lousy. At this point he’s never even made the majors, which I thought they could at least do for him.
Rating: 5/10 – I like Larry and this is a decent shot of him. Certainly not amongst the worst cards in the set.
2005 Topps Nationals #30
Category: Nationals Lynchpin
Bio/Summary: Schneider used to frustrate the hell out of me. His defense wasn’t all that great, and every single time I saw him hit, it seemed he was hitting into a double play. In all my times of seeing him play I can recall two hits total. 2007 is a perfect capsule of my frustration with him: 235/326/336. A 77 OPS+ is passable, I guess, but man, he got way too much playing time. I’m glad he’s gone.
Rating: 4/10 – This picture’s a slight improvement. At least you can see his face and it’s something other than a batting pose.
2005 Topps Nationals #37
Category: Fringe Player
Bio/Summary: Ah, the infamous Gary Majewski. I can’t think of this guy without thinking of Jim Bowden, and that’s just not a good thing. If you’re not familiar with the story, he was one of the members of the trade of several Nationals also-rans for Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Wagner. It turned out that, once he arrived, he was injured, and the Reds filed a complaint that Bowden had known (he probably did). On top of that, that trade didn’t even pan out for either side! Ah, wasted potential.
Rating: 4/10 – More interesting pose, but this picture was clearly taken at sunset with a flash. The shadows suck.
2005 Topps Nationals #34
Category: Fringe Player
Bio/Summary: I used to get him and Luis Ayala confused. I think it’s because I was convinced for a long time that Vargas was a reliever, but he’s actually a starter. Not a great one, mind you. He’s only ever been league average once, his rookie season. The rest has been a frustrating mess of too many dingers and too many walks. Mind you, he didn’t last long as a National, departing with a 9.24 ERA on waivers.
Rating: 4/10 – Meh. It’s a somewhat interesting pose.