For instance, last fall I was able to work on some basic math and critical thinking skills with my daughter by using some Upper Deck soccer cards I had picked up for her. I would consider this to be high (if not THE highest) on the list of extra benefits from my cardboard addiction.....anything that brings us closer with our loved ones is a GOOD thing.
My example for today is not so righteous, but it is pretty cool to see how a fantasy game version of my favorite sport has added to my enjoyment of our hobby.
I played fantasy baseball for the first time last season and I really enjoyed myself. It is interesting, statistic-centric (nerd sound) and creates incredible moments of crisis as a fan when one or more of your fantasy players face off against your real life favorite team or player. Good stuff, despite the quizzical "I love you, idiot" looks from Mrs. Ryan's Pitch.
This season has been no exception. I'm playing in two fantasy leagues again and having a grand time. There's been an added focus for younger stars in my new league as it is a "dynasty" league where you can keep some of your players from year to year and build with prospects and minor leaguers. Exhausting sometimes but.....it's baseball. So it's awesome, naturally.
This year, there's been a couple of young chaps in the game who have caught my eye. I don't own either of them but I've given considerable thought to "claiming" them for my team off of the waiver wires.
Matt Adams for the Cardinals and Patrick Corbin for the D-Backs.
A bat and an arm - good mix.
Matt Adams is a hoss! He comes with a lot of power potential, which we received a sneak peek at last season, but the Cardinals have a pretty well stocked cupboard right now. He is getting some playing time but I haven't been able to justify picking him up just yet. Still, it's been a lot of fun doing the research and monitoring his performance.
While going through my 2012 Topps flagship extras the other night, I came across this card:
|Who doesn't love an RC?|
It didn't really have much meaning for me when I shuffled through the packs last year but now this "Gold" parallel (#'d out of 2012 - MOJO!!!!! :) means a little bit more and was a lot of fun to check revisit a second time. Taking a look at Mr. Adams' physique provides a quick visual explanation for the power potential, too. And because this is Ryan's Pitch - here's the CARD BACK:
|Not considered a "HIT" by millions of collectors|
Patrick Corbin is a young fellow who, so far, is making D-Back Manager Kirk Gibson look like a genius for selecting Patrick as their #5 at the end of spring training. Corbin has a 1.72 ERA, sub-1 WHIP and a respectable 2.9 K/BB ratio. Not too shabby. He's 2-0 on the season and his 21 IP have come against the Yankees, Dodgers, Giants and Brewers. He's also only 24 years old. Great job, kid.
Now, corrections happen and great starts happen......the Yankees aren't the usual Yankees right now and the Dodgers have been a bit anemic as of late (though Kemp is heating up!) but still. This kid could be legit. Maybe I should drop Wade Davis for him? What do you think?
That being said, I also stumbled across this card during the same 'hobby break' that I found the Adams:
|Not an SP and I couldn't care less|
Actually, I found two of them! Immediately, they were penny-sleeved. Yeah, in the opinion of some hobbyists they're worthless base cards......but to me, they represent rookie cards of a great young pitcher. And all because I'm following the sport a little bit closer through fantasy baseball.
I love technology.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.