On May 19, Raley Field was filled with energetic players and cheering fans, but the action was academic instead of athletic. The Sacramento River Cats hosted their first ever Fantasy Baseball Math Tournament.
The 2012 Fantasy Baseball Math Program was presented by Intel Corporation in partnership with Action Math Group, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), the Sacramento River Cats and the City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation's Sacramento START.
"It was inspiring to see all those students on a Saturday morning at the ballpark competing as teams. Students, math, baseball: it makes sense to me," said Tony Asaro, Director of Community Relations for the River Cats. "The idea was presented 10 years ago by Art and Susan Savage, our owners, and we finally found the right partners in Intel, SCOE, the teachers, and school districts. The dream has now been achieved."
The exciting tournament featured 20 teams of fifth to eighth grade students representing school districts from the Sacramento-area. In the competition, students used statistics from specially designed baseball cards to analyze data, compare players, complete circle graphs, and ultimately play simulated baseball games where they may even lead their team to a Fantasy Baseball World Series Championship.
The event was an end of the year activity for students who have participated in after-school programs.
"Our research shows students using this program see improvement in their math skills," said Gary Hess, President and CEO of Action Math Group, Ltd. "The tournament was exciting and helped the players put math in a real-world context. It also created an interest in baseball as the medium for teaching math concepts through the preparation and playing of the game."
At the end of the challenging competition, the following teams were crowned winners:
- California Middle School
- Club West Elkhorn
- David Reese Elementary School
- Fern Bacon Middle School
Winners will have the opportunity to throw out a first pitch at an upcoming Sacramento River Cats game.
The following schools, teams, and programs participated in the program:
- Elk Grove Unified School District: Charles Mack Elementary School; David Reese Elementary School
- Folsom Cordova Unified School District: Cordova Villa Elementary School; Mills Middle School; Mitchell Middle School; White Rock Elementary School
- Sacramento City Unified School District: California Middle School; Fern Bacon Middle School; Sacramento Chinese Community Services Center (SCCSC)
- Twin Rivers Unified School District: Orchard Elementary School, Sacramento START; Rio Tierra Jr. High School, Fathers and Families
- Washington Unified School District: Elkhorn Village School; Stonegate School, Club West (City of West Sacramento Parks and Recreation); Westmore Oaks School
Other tournament sponsors included: Subway, City of West Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department, Wilson Trophy Company, Elk Grove Unified School District, Folsom Cordova Unified School District, Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Rivers Unified School District, and the Center for Fathers and Families.