I competed for many years in fantasy baseball leagues - starting in 1991 when I graduated from Indiana University and moved to West Texas. I joined an existing six-team league operating from The Bar in downtown Midland, Texas. My Cross-Dressing Left Fielders won the league and I was hooked.
Today, I still enjoy the hobby. I had pared back my involvement drastically through the years until I was down to a single league that had been around awhile. Unfortunately, it wasn't as competitive as I would have liked. Too many owners who simply never got back about trade proposals or didn't set their lineups and thus skewed the competitive field.
So, three years ago I decided to form a large free league and I went about "interviewing" interested potential owners found on a couple of different good sites. The result was the formation of a 20-team league. I wanted us to go deep into the player pool. I love that kind of competition and challenge.
Once we had everyone in place, I got the idea for a second free league - this one with an MLB franchise hook. We would chose MLB franchises as they existed in 1977 - thus the Montreal Expos for the Nationals - and then chose four players from those franchises (current players of course) plus one "prospect keeper" - a player who has not appeared in an MLB game. We then drafted other players just like any fantasy league.
This free ESPN league has worked great and been hugely popular. This is where you may or may not come in. We lost just two of 20 owners after Year One and, now, it seems we will lose 1 owner before our draft scheduled to start ASAP.
It's an outstanding group of quality guys. The competition is a blast. Very knowledgeable baseball guys - active owners who adjust their rosters daily as needed.
The open team is the Atlanta Braves. Braves on the team are McCann, Hanson, Heyward, Uggla, Hudson, Venters and Teheran. At all times, we must have four players from the MLB franchise - plus 1 "prospect keeper" - on our rosters. That's the gist. There's slightly more to it - but not much more.
Prior to our slow e-mail offline draft, which needs to start immediately, the owner can choose one "prospect keeper" (a Brave who has not appeared in an MLB game) to add to their list of 20 keepers.
It's a head-to-head league. Last year the team finished 6-12 and second to last in the five-team NL West (ahead of the Dodgers). The league champion was the San Diego Padres - a team that finished last in Year One.
If it sounds interesting, then let me know only by e-mailing me at: email@example.com. You'll then see the full slate of rules. Please, only if you are a bit of a fantasy baseball junkie who's been looking for a higher level of competition. Also, be an active owner. I haven't had to do it, but I've promised everyone that if a team goes dormant for a period of time and the owner fails to respond, then I'll find a quick replacement to keep the competition high.
We had intended to start the offline draft - done through the league chat box and/or message board - yesterday but I was holding out for the last guy to rejoin as promised.