Topps Plays Ball!
New baseball card game holds championship playoffs
The baseball playoffs heated up Citi Field in Queens, New York, recently, but not with baseball bats, balls, or gloves. These players faced off with special Topps Attax baseball cards in the Topps Attax National Championship Finals.
Sixteen kids who won regional competitions around the country came together on the home field of the New York Mets for the championship. The players were divided into two groups: National League and American League. The winner of each league then played against each other for a Championship trophy.
Topps Attax is a new type of baseball card kids can use to play a baseball game. Each person starts off with nine batters and four pitchers. The first player picks a pitcher and places him face up in the "match-up" space on the board. The second player selects a batter and places the card face down in the "match-up" space.
The first player then calls out a pitch, such as "change up" or "specialty." The second player then turns over his batter and they compare the ratings on the bottom of the cards.
If the batter's rating is equal or higher, he scores and goes to the "runs" stack. If it's lower, he goes to the "outs" stack. You must change the pitcher and batter each time.
After player two has been at bat three times, you switch who is batting and who is pitching. Once all the batters have been used by both players, the game is over—except in the case of a tie when the action continues. The player with the most runs wins!
The cards feature current players, but also old timers like Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and Nolan Ryan.
And the winner is….
The Topps tournament finals came down to two players: Matthew Kaminstein, 11, from Allentown, New Jersey for the National League, and Matthew Fenstermaker, 8, from Allentown, Pennsylvania for the American League.
Aside from sharing first names and hometown names, both Matthews also share a favorite Major League team and player. Their favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies. Favorite player is Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
The championship game went into extra innings, but Kaminstein took the title, along with a trophy and signed Ike Davis memorabilia.
Davis is the Met's rookie first baseman. He greeted each kid at the tournament individually, took photos with them, and signed autographs.
Davis was called up to the majors by the Mets in April of this year—an event he calls "a dream come true."
He told the Scholastic Kids Press Corps that his father, Ron Davis, who pitched in the majors for 11 years, has always been his hero.
"He taught me how to live life, how to be a man, how to play baseball," Davis said.
Another famous Met, former first baseman Keith Hernandez, emceed the event, which gives a whole new meaning to the term "Play Ball!"
Find out what Mets first baseman Ike Davis told Kid Reporter Joseph O'Connor was his favorite part of being a major league player—on the Scholastic Kids Press Corps Blog!
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