Now that the Padres are competitive again, it's fun to go back to the mid-2000s teams to find a time when they were also competitive, but arguably with a lot less than they have now. Like, in 2005, the Padres finished only 2 games over .500, being the only team in the NL West over .500 as well. Three NL East teams that did not make the playoffs had a better record- the Phillies, Marlins and Mets. Because this was the pre-Manfred era of baseball, the division leader that squeaked into the playoffs didn't end up winning the whole thing. The Friars got clobbered by the Cardinals in 3 games, it wasn't gonna be close.
There were some interesting things about this team as far as Topps non-documentation is concerned. Perhaps the biggest 'star' in this pack to discuss is Chan Ho Park, dealt from the Rangers at the deadline for some rotation depth. In 10 games, Park went 4-3 with a 5.91 ERA with San Diego, and didn't make the postseason roster. Fortunately the Korean fireballer would have a better season with the Padres in 2006, and make the transition to his late-decade relief work with Philadelphia.
Eventually I'll go over the similar energy in the Padres' 2006 playoff run.