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89Topps

First Fantasy League Memories

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Read some fun posts in the platform thread.  I always enjoy reading posts about people's first fantasy leagues they played in.

 

For me, I ran a basketball league in high school (mid to late 90s).  We only played Friday-Sunday.  Each owner had to give me their starters by Friday (usually done in person between classes).  If they didn't, then I chose their starters for the weekend and tried to choose their worst 6.

 

I would take the stats straight out of the newspaper and put them into an exel spreadsheet.  On Monday, I would give everyone their box score, as well as a little write up I had done for each game. 

 

It was a keeper league, I believe.  I remember the best players in the league were David Robinson, Scottie Pippin, Hakeem, Barkley, Karl Malone, Stockton, Gary Payton & Vlade Divac.  Ironically, we started the league right when Jordan retired, and probably ran it through the first year he returned, so he was never really a big factor.

 

I think I actually still have the draft sheets, box scores and write ups somewhere in the garage.  

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Baseball league online at Sandbox. I remember they had a league roster page that listed each player's average fantasy points per game right next to them. It really boosted the amount of trading that happened in the league. Pretty sure this was 2000. Never understood why sites never implemented that feature.

 

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my first ever attempt was for the 1992 baseball season.   The so-called 'good ol' days' of pen & paper and anxiously awaiting the weekly publication called 'the National' ( I think...it was published by USA Today) for stats.

 

it was a burden and messy....I gave up after that one season not to return until 2005.    

But I did have Frank Thomas and Jack McDowell on that inaugural team!   I wont forget that!

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Has anybody heard of strat-O-matic ? 

 

Dice, board & player cards..... 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, 89Topps said:

Read some fun posts in the platform thread.  I always enjoy reading posts about people's first fantasy leagues they played in.

 

For me, I ran a basketball league in high school (mid to late 90s).  We only played Friday-Sunday.  Each owner had to give me their starters by Friday (usually done in person between classes).  If they didn't, then I chose their starters for the weekend and tried to choose their worst 6.

 

I would take the stats straight out of the newspaper and put them into an exel spreadsheet.  On Monday, I would give everyone their box score, as well as a little write up I had done for each game. 

 

It was a keeper league, I believe.  I remember the best players in the league were David Robinson, Scottie Pippin, Hakeem, Barkley, Karl Malone, Stockton, Gary Payton & Vlade Divac.  Ironically, we started the league right when Jordan retired, and probably ran it through the first year he returned, so he was never really a big factor.

 

I think I actually still have the draft sheets, box scores and write ups somewhere in the garage.  

Baseball - 1993, was in an auction (non keeper) roto league, but only had 4x4, no WHIP and No Runs.  I think we had 6 owners.  It was a $300 auction, and I remember in the first go round Barry Bonds was called I went $75 and everyone laughed and nobody bid and I got him and for years it was "bonds 75" but actually now in hinsight it was not that bad, I mean $75 on a 300 scale?  With only 6 owners?    One of the owners got me into another serious league, it was AL/NL only, there were 2 leagues, some guys had both, it was $120 to get into the league and like $120 for the stat service, which was mailed to your house I think every other week.  It was auction keeper which the 4x4 6-man transformed into, but kept it mixed but our commish did stats on an excel spreadsheet using stats that were in the newspaper every Sunday. 

 

Football also 1993 - was a 10 or12 team draft, it was basically TD only league with 3 point bonus for 100 yards rushing/receiving 300 yards passing.  Starters were QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, K, DEF - Roster was rigid and double that, so basically 2QB, 4RB, 4WR, 2TE, 2K, 2DEF/ST  It was total points league, no head to head.  There was a re-draft every 4 weeks, all teams would reconvene at same draft location and in reverse order of standings would be like a waivers draft.  Being a TD only league essentially much of the first round was QB, RB/WR would be a couple late in the first.  I can still remember, I had the 2nd pick - and figured the first pick was gonna be Dan Marino, he was among the top but the Dolphins overhauled the WR corp in one of the first free agent classes, got Irving Fryar, Mark Ingram and I think TE Keith Jackson (or maybe year earlier) but either way their passing game was loaded.  He was consensus No.1 pick.  Guy with No.1 overall took Troy Aikman, who is maybe my favorite all time football player, but was not even a fantasy starting QB most years.  Commish did stats with box scores Monday/Tuesday

 

 

 

 

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I played strat-o-matic in the early 80's. A lot of fun. We'd get together for a live draft, good times.

 

The first roto type game I played was in the mid 90's. I would have to call in my starting line-up. . . on a CORDED phone.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, shakestreet said:

Has anybody heard of strat-O-matic ? 

 

Dice, board & player cards..... 

 

 

Never played it but heard of it...I remember a computer game was Earl Weaver's baseball and you could plug stats into it for players, and then the game would play out.  So we held a draft based on the year before's stats and then you would set your lineup and away you would go...you didnt play like a video game though, the computer played out the game...but I remember you could pick old stadiums, my team played at the Polo Grounds. 

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Late 90s there was a website where you could buy stock in players and based on the their performance it would determine their stock price. Can't remember the website. I also used sandbox as my first website for fantasy than Yahoo the next year, around 1999 I believe.

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22 minutes ago, shakestreet said:

Has anybody heard of strat-O-matic ? 

 

Dice, board & player cards..... 

 

 

Yep. I had the 1987 or 1988 version and played a lot of that on summer break (with friends or by myself) when the days seemed to last forever. Did box scores, league leaders, etc. all with pencil and paper. Would start out with this grand idea to play out a whole season during the summer but the idea alone was insane thinking back on it. I guess that optimism is one of the great things about being a kid though.

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11 minutes ago, duke of queens said:

Late 90s there was a website where you could buy stock in players and based on the their performance it would determine their stock price. Can't remember the website. I also used sandbox as my first website for fantasy than Yahoo the next year, around 1999 I believe.

The Sporting News was the stock market one. 

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28 minutes ago, TedStriker said:

Yep. I had the 1987 or 1988 version and played a lot of that on summer break (with friends or by myself) when the days seemed to last forever. Did box scores, league leaders, etc. all with pencil and paper. Would start out with this grand idea to play out a whole season during the summer but the idea alone was insane thinking back on it. I guess that optimism is one of the great things about being a kid though.

I started playing in 1969 for just one season. I was 12 years old. Yea I am an old fart. my friend begged me to play against his brother friends who were 5/6 years older than us. We used the 1968 season... had a live draft with all the player cards. My team sucked so eventually I just gave up and didn’t finish the season. I was 12 got bored ....

 

ten years later I bought my first strat-O-magic game. Me and a few friends had a draft a 30 game season kept all the stats...we played for a few years then got sick of it.... 

 

back in ‘97 in the back of the sporting news.....wasn’t it call  (baseball weekly)? was ads about fantasy ... joined a league. We had to mail our lineup and it had to be postmarked on a Friday or our lineup was invalid. The address was Baseball Fan-tastic in New York .... $6 per week lol

Edited by shakestreet
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41 minutes ago, duke of queens said:

Late 90s there was a website where you could buy stock in players and based on the their performance it would determine their stock price. Can't remember the website. I also used sandbox as my first website for fantasy than Yahoo the next year, around 1999 I believe.

My first one was Smallworld hockey, where everybody started with the same budget and players' value would fluctuate based on how many users were buying or selling them. I think outcome was still determined by performance, though.

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1 hour ago, shakestreet said:

Has anybody heard of strat-O-matic ? 

 

Dice, board & player cards..... 

 

 

 

I don't think I ever played Strat-o-Matic, but I did have this as a kid.

 

Image result for baseball card dice game

 

Sounds similar.  You'd create a lineup, then roll the dice and use the stats on the back of the card to determine what the outcome of the AB was.

 

Man, I wore that game out. 

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1 hour ago, duke of queens said:

Late 90s there was a website where you could buy stock in players and based on the their performance it would determine their stock price. Can't remember the website. I also used sandbox as my first website for fantasy than Yahoo the next year, around 1999 I believe.

 

Are you thinking of Small World?  We played that in college.

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2006 was my first year. I had to auto-draft. I was excited I got David Eckstein and Mark buerhle

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My best friend's father ran a hobby shop, mostly sports cards and memorabilia. One day,  early February 1987, as men do, we got into a stat argument where we each declared we knew more than anybody about baseball (or players or rules or something in that vein). My friend's dad explained the idea of roto league baseball to us and we were hooked. He got four of his friends and we got 3 of ours and we filled out a 10 team league 4X4 (I don't think we used WHIP and maybe runs?). We had to put our money where are respective mouths were and pony up $5. Winner take all.  

 

We wrangled up everyone to meet and draft the weekend before the season started. We showed up at his card shop Saturday morning and he broke open a brand new set of wood-grain 1987 Topps and we ran a snake draft with a 5 minute per pick time limit. I seemed to remember it taking all day.  I was just a middle school kid but I picked my then favorite player with my first pick, Cal Ripken. He did not help my batting average that season. 

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I was in college in June of 1989 when I picked up a copy of a The Official Constitution of Rotisserie League Baseball in a Walden Books at the mall.  I sat on the floor of the store for about an hour reading it, then bought it and went home and stayed up all night reading it from cover to cover.  I had heard references to Rotisserie baseball but never investigated what it was.  I was hooked.

 

The next day I got together with my roommate, explained it to him, and shortly thereafter we started a two man league for 2nd half of the 1989 season.  The only guy I can remember owning was Nick Esasky and I have no idea why I remember him or why I owned him in a 2-man league.  I was a Yankee fan and he played for the Red Sox, but he did have 30 HR's that year and probably had had a big 1st half.

 

The next year I hung an ad on a bulletin board on campus and we put together our first full season 8-team AL-Only league for the 1990 season.  I remember as soon as the draft concluded I traded Mark Gubicza for my favorite player, Don Mattingly.  It didn't really work out for either of us.

 

I still play with one original member of that league.

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1 hour ago, 89Topps said:

 

Are you thinking of Small World?  We played that in college.

I think it was Wall Street Sports

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2 hours ago, Hanghow said:

My first one was Smallworld hockey, where everybody started with the same budget and players' value would fluctuate based on how many users were buying or selling them. I think outcome was still determined by performance, though.

Smallworld was the first with the stock market game. TSN bought them out. TSN failed with it. Then a company in California bought it. They were so bad that I wrote to the CAL Attorney General to try and get my winnings. They went out of business then a company called Fanduel ran with the concept and I think they still are running it but only for football. Quit playing after a huge football season where I cleared around 1500.00 with four teams. Teams only cost 25.00 a piece. 

 

When TSN failed was around the time Fantrax was starting. They took the concept and rewrote part of their baseball platform so 20 or so of us would have a place to play.

 

Good memories.

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First one was absolutely epic. I just did an auto-draft roto league on CBS to try it out, in 2002. Wound up with a good team —  but a couple super lopsided trades that I can’t believe weren’t vetoed made it absurd. 

 

I wound up with Schilling and Big Unit in my rotation, a year they both won 24+ games with 300+ strikeouts. Plus Halladay, Oswalt and a healthy Kerry Wood. Billy Koch saved 44 games and won 10. Larry Walker in a batting title year. Pujols, Berkman, Frank Thomas, Sosa. Garrett Anderson and Klesko each hit nearly 30 homers. Some Blue Jays catcher I can’t remember slugged about .550 off the waiver wire. Etc.

 

Wound up with the $600 league prize by a looooongshot, and later found out I was the CBS overall grand champ for $5,000 more. My first online team. (CBS stopped the overall grand prize thing the next year).

 

Any wonder it turned me into an addict?

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I wrote about my first fantasy experience in the Platform thread. It was the spring of 1989, and I was in the 8th grade. My step-dad and I ran a team together. He paid the money and made the final decisions, but I was the stat guy. I knew the numbers, and gave my suggestions. He took most of them, but unfortunately I can't remember how we did. We joined up with the NFSL (it was a points league), and I think my step-dad found an ad for it in Baseball Weekly or some publication like that. I remember that not only did we draft players, but we also had to draft a manager, and we got credit for the games his team won, lol. It was a blast. I wouldn't go back to that time for anything today, LOL, but I sure had a lot of fun with it back then. 

 

My first foray into roto leagues was in 1996 when I was in college. It was an 11-team 4x4 AL-Only Ultra Auction League. The "Ultra" part meant we bought our 23-man active roster, and then we went into a 17-round draft and the rounds had dollar values attached. If memory serves...Rd1 $15, Rds 2-6 $10, Rds 7-12 $5, and Rds 13-17 $2. We had two roto veterans who started the league, and nine roto newbies trying to learn how to play in an auction league. And because of so many newbies, I'll never forget that Alex Rodriguez went for $1. Remember his 1996 season? LOL. Good ole Peter Nelson had ARod for a long time, LOL As I said in the other thread, this was a high-dollar league for me as a college student ($260 league fee, $1/add-drop-trade, $5/WW claim). My best finishes were 3rd and 2nd in consecutive years, and I won nearly $1,000 when I finished 2nd. It was this league that made me fall in love with roto ball, and that's pretty much all I've played since then.

 

I played in my first fantasy football league in 1990, also with the NFSL. The first RB I drafted? A rookie named Emmitt Smith :D. My step-dad did not want me making him our first RB drafted, but he let me go with it. 

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6 hours ago, parrothead said:

Never played it but heard of it...I remember a computer game was Earl Weaver's baseball and you could plug stats into it for players, and then the game would play out.  So we held a draft based on the year before's stats and then you would set your lineup and away you would go...you didnt play like a video game though, the computer played out the game...but I remember you could pick old stadiums, my team played at the Polo Grounds. 

 

Oh Yeah, I had Earl Weaver Baseball.  That was a good game.  I played it on my PC with 640 K of Ram.  :)

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High school, 1987.  The stats were done weekly by hand based on box scores printed every Tuesday in The Sporting News.  Somehow, the league commissioner, who also did all the calculations, always seemed to win ....

 

But boy did I have a monster offense the year I came in 2nd place with Jeffrey "one flap down" Leonard, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, and others.  I also rode a 40-year-old Nolan Ryan who led the league in ERA, Ks, and somehow still compiled an 8-16 record.

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16 hours ago, shakestreet said:

Has anybody heard of strat-O-matic ? 

 

Dice, board & player cards..... 

 

 

I didn't play Stratomatic as a kid, but I do play in a league online currently.  I did play Pursue the Pennant in college.

Edited by Trader Mac

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Back in 1989, while a senior in high school, one of my friends introduced us to Rotissiere baseball with the Glen Waggoner book and we were hooked.  We had our first draft in my family room.  A lot of great memories playing fantasy baseball from seeing the first magazines on the shelf, including Baseball Weekly with John Hunt's projections, to pouring over the USA Today for stats to watching SportsCenter to see if any of my players made the highlights.

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