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The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

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The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby carter » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:50 am

this has been on my mind alot lately... I read somewhere that Fantasy Baseball started in the 70's and for the internet it started in the mid-80's on "Compuserve" servers, with leagues called "Yogi AL" and "Banks NL" .... Does anyone know what kind of line-ups and settings they used? I'm especially wondering about the Compuserve ones and how different they were from standard settings used on common sites today like Yahoo!, CBS, ect..

The reason I ask is because I'm having trouble finding leagues these days that I actually enjoy.. all of my buddies want H2H leagues, which seems to be something that started with fantasy football, because I don't think it works as good for baseball ... they also don't want leagues with 2 C's, CI, MI, or 5 OF's, they don't like Roto leagues, they don't want Auction drafts, ect, ect.. they don't want to try anything "new", even though its actually not new at all.. it also seems like its getting harder to find these types of leagues online too..

basically, every year I play fantasy baseball, and i'm never truly happy with it (even if i win)... my ongoing frustration wants to point the blame to Yahoo and the newer sites.. and I'd like to know as much as possible about those old ways of playing.. they seem to be more in tune with a game for baseball fans, then these "newer methods"
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby aardvarks » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:03 am

I started playing fantasy baseball in '93, pre-computer at least for me.

CDM salary cap fantasy baseball, advertised in then the baseball weekly, there were 25 teams in a league, they gave you a 60,000,000 cap to build the best team you could, I think the rosters were 2C, 2 1B, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 SS, 5 OF, 1 Ut. 6 SP, 3 RP. and 10 bench.

Weekly changes done by phone, and every Wednesday I would receive a standings update in the mail

It was a points league (1 pt R, 1 Pt RBI, 1 pt single, 2 pt's double, 3 pt's triple, 4 pt's HR, 2 Pts SB, 1 pt BB, 1 pt per inning pitched, 1 pt K, 10 pt's win, 5 pt's save.) what was unique about it was, every player was available to everyone, Juan Gonzalez for example was on most/all of the rosters. So if you got behind it was difficult to catch up, because of the little roster variance.

each manager was given 12 add/drops for the season.

It was fun, I had never heard of fantasy sports b4
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby Ender » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:24 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_baseball

Roto is a more pure form of fantasy baseball and it has a lot less luck involved. However H2H a lot more fun if you get in a good league so I don't think anything is wrong with your friends sticking with it. I am in a H2H league that has been running for 6 years now and there is no way we would ever change it to Roto, but I also play in money leagues every year and I'd never do a H2H money league.
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby converge241 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:48 am

Make sure to catch 30 for 30 on ESPN on 4/20 for some nice history of fatasy baseball!
"I'm the man with the ball. I'm the man who can throw it faster than F***. So that's why I'm better than anyone in the world." - Kenny Powers
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby Matthias » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:28 am

I don't know if going back to the roots of fantasy baseball are really going to make you happy. You have to remember that originally, the stat calculations were limited by what the guys could calculate by hand from the week's worth of box scores. So saying you want to go back to that is kind of (IMO) saying that to enjoy a drive from coast to coast you're looking to buy a Ford Edsel.

I don't know about roto vs H2H but if anything it seems that auction drafts are becoming more common as the online providers start more commonly adding auction options to their draft software. If you can't convince your friends to do the type of league you're looking for, you can try the Cafe's classifieds.
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby West » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 pm

Ender wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_baseball

Roto is a more pure form of fantasy baseball and it has a lot less luck involved. However H2H a lot more fun if you get in a good league so I don't think anything is wrong with your friends sticking with it. I am in a H2H league that has been running for 6 years now and there is no way we would ever change it to Roto, but I also play in money leagues every year and I'd never do a H2H money league.


Agreed.. I would never do a money H2H. At least, if any substantial amount of money was involved. I play in both H2H and roto. I will admit that overall, H2H has had more close finishes due to the obvious format differences. However in my main roto league, we have had it come down to the last day each of the last 3 years. And personally I find that much more exciting because it is truly a season's worth of numbers and a true measure of how good you have been over the course of the season.
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby Pochucker » Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:59 pm

I have been playing since late 80s early nineties. I will never play in a roto league for money. People underestimate the negative effects of people not trying halfway through the season. There are many ways to reduce the luck factor and keep owners interested all year in h2h.
H2H more replicates MLB than roto in my opinion. Remember the "best" team in MLB doesent always get to World series let alone win it.
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby carter » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:15 pm

Pochucker wrote:I have been playing since late 80s early nineties. I will never play in a roto league for money. People underestimate the negative effects of people not trying halfway through the season. There are many ways to reduce the luck factor and keep owners interested all year in h2h.
H2H more replicates MLB than roto in my opinion. Remember the "best" team in MLB doesent always get to World series let alone win it.


i dont think either replicates MLB perfectly and i dont expect them to.. the problem i have with H2H is that someone can have more AB and IP in a given week then their oppenent, not only because of streaming, but because the actual players don't always play the same amount of games each week ... Football H2H makes more sense because each team plays once a week and thats it.. its very even, but if you look at a typical h2h baseball league, the ab's and ip's are all over the place at the end of each week.. and that can really hurt if you win or lose because of that for too many weeks.. with roto, it more or less evens out better by seasons end, and you can set AB/IP limits too
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby Pochucker » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:56 pm

In a weekly format streaming is not much of a problem. Streaming pichers in a weekly format guarantees you what? Strikeouts? Maybe? Wins ? nope. Plus we discourage streaming by having every transaction cost $1 and any player picked up during week must be on following weeks roster.

Also what guarantee in roto is there that everyones players play same amount of games over course of year--none. Playing home/away splits , team matchups is part of strategy just like real baseball. Having guy play extra games and sucking does not help. Luck averages out.
We have one player in our league who never streams makes very limited moves 10/12 during year and he is two time winner. Have others who make 100+ transactions a year and have won squat. Im only other two time winner and Im usually around 40 transactions.
When you get to playoffs you use one week playoff for first week (div winners get bye) after that you have two two week playoffs with no lineup changes beteeen weeks so IP and gamews played are fairly even.
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Re: The Origins of Fantasy Baseball

Postby West » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:36 pm

Pochucker wrote:I have been playing since late 80s early nineties. I will never play in a roto league for money. People underestimate the negative effects of people not trying halfway through the season.


This makes little to no sense at all. If you have managers in your rotisserie league giving up halfway through the season, I bet you see those same managers giving up in H2H leagues. That has way more to do with the people you play with than the format. And why wouldn't you want to play in a league like that for money? I'd love to take those managers' money if they're just going to give up.

H2H more replicates MLB than roto in my opinion. Remember the "best" team in MLB doesent always get to World series let alone win it.


We can debate H2H vs. rotisserie to death if you like, but the fact is H2H is far better suited for fantasy football than baseball. Rotisserie baseball may not be the most fun or keep the amateurs paying attention all year, but it is the traditional form of fantasy baseball competition. And like "carter" said, I don't play it because it perfectly replicates the game. If I wanted to do that I'd grab my glove and head outside.
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