It’s Practically Here!

The season is about to start, and I am ready! If I were to sum up my day yesterday in just one word, it would be, “baseball”. The boys asked to play catch which turned into batting practice before we even got all the gloves out. We watched Ken Burns’ “Baseball” while we looked at the book. I signed up for 2 fantasy leagues, and one drafted last night. Then I watched “Silly Little Game”, the ESPN 30-for-30 show about the original Rotisserie League Baseball. Now this morning I am debating myself over At Bat 13 or full-blown MLB.TV subscriptions and weighing this against the case of Allen & Ginter I so deeply desire. MLB.TV has a bunch of free games today as a preview, by the way.

Rotisserie League Baseball Book

Rotisserie League Baseball Book

I might have been the only person, certainly the only 3rd or 4th grader at my school, to check the original Rotisserie League Baseball rule book out at my hometown library. I read it and read it and read it. I’d take it back, I’d check it out again. I was also a very privileged child, for I had subscriptions to The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated back then. One of my proofs that I have always been a nerd is that I preferred TSN for the stats. With this rule book, and the weekly stats feed delivered by the Postal Service, I was fully prepared to be a commissioner.

The problem was, nobody I knew was as fascinated as I was. I was in Little League, and those guys loved baseball as much as anyone else, I suppose, but this wasn’t their type of thing. And that was about the limit of my 10 year old social circle. Except for every nerdy young lad’s best friends, my family.

I don’t know why I was so attached to baseball, it certainly didn’t come from Mom or Dad. The only place I ever got to really watch a game was at my Grandma’s house, she never missed a Cubs game. Whatever the reason, I loved everything about baseball, and Rotisserie League seemed made for me.

Mom, Dad, and my brother each had a team, and I did too, of course. Dad worked all day (and often into the night), Mom was going back to school, and my brother was probably my greatest nemesis in the world, as any good little brother should be. Therefore, looking back 25 years and being truthful about it, I set myself up a league with 4 teams and I ran them all. The memory gets hazy here, but in this perilous situation, I think I remained trustworthy and didn’t trade amongst myself. I do remember asking Mom once for a player and explaining why it would be great for both of us, and she said something like, “Yeah, great.” In her defense, I am certain she was doing at least two other things during my pitch.

2012 Topps Allen And Ginter #254 Rickey Henderson

2012 Topps Allen And Ginter #254 Rickey Henderson

All I really remember about that was I had Rickey Henderson on my team, and possibly Wade Boggs, and I won the league. I did give weekly updates to the owners, I loved spending hours adding up all the stats and referring back to the rule book. I remember writing up the reports, there was a green highlighter I used for the column headings. I think my team was called the Gratnerds, and rather than the celebratory Yoo-Hoo shower, I think the season ended with the even more traditional self-congratulation and warm glow of victory. Naturally, I immediately began to think of next season, which did not come for another 15 years or so when I got to college and had the internet, at least while I was there. I was clearly, truly, a pioneer of the game. In addition to being perhaps the youngest commissioner in the 1980’s, I was probably among the first owners to drop out in May in the 1990’s.

Anyway, my current team is great, and the other one has their auction tonight. It is the traditional league, we are NL only. I’m really looking forward to this one, but there are only 3 teams at the moment. I didn’t start the league and don’t know who did, but come join! As I said, one league drafted last night, so allow me to present the 2013 Indianapolis Musicians! I’m pretty happy with this lineup, but it feels a little weak at 2B and SS, and I need another third baseman.

C – Jonathan Lucroy, AJ Ellis

1B – Anthony Rizzo, Adam Lind, Todd Helton

2B – Jose Altuve, Darwin Barney

SS – Jose Reyes, Jean Segura

3B – Miguel Cabrera

OF – Yoenis Cespedes, BJ Upton, Angel Pagan, Collin Cowgill, Starling Marte, Aaron Hicks, Jason Kubel

SP – Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Hiroki Kuroda, Jonathon Niese, Derek Holland, Tommy Milone

RP – Jonathan Papelbon, Addison Reed, Jason Grilli, Kyuji Fujikawa

 

Almost no progress was actually made yesterday on sorting my cards, so basically a typical day.

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