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You know baseball. And did you know Major League Baseball’s official historian, John Thorn, author of “Baseball in the Garden of Eden” has stated the honor of inventing the modern game of baseball belongs to Daniel Lucius Adams, Louis Fenn Wadsworth, and William Rufus Wheaten?
You also know fantasy baseball and which players to your roster.
But did you know that Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), an American author and poet, created a form of fantasy baseball when he was a child, and continued developing and playing the game for most of his life?
In addition to knowing how to play the game, what else do you know about fantasy baseball? Impress your friends with these facts about the history of fantasy baseball, the Rotisserie league, and the keeper league. Then go on to discus some of the funniest or most creative fantasy baseball team names.
History of Fantasy Baseball
Kerouac populated his fantasy baseball league with fictitious statistics and teams — the Pittsburgh Plymouths, New York Chevvies, Boston Grays, and Cincinnati Blacks. He also had made-up players such as Wino Love, Warby Pepper, Heinie Twiett, Phegus Cody, and Zagg Parker.
In 1961, IBM engineer John Burgeson wrote software for the IBM 1620 computer to simulate two teams playing each other. Strat-O-Matic, a company founded in 1961, sells a tabletop fantasy baseball game that replicates real statistics as accurately as possible. Players re-create past seasons and see the what happens with their own management decisions.
Journalist Daniel Okrent, and other journalists, invented rotisserie-style baseball in 1980. Sometimes called “roto,” the name comes from the New York City restaurant La Rotisserie Française, where the originators first played the game.
This version of fantasy baseball, where players act as team managers, is more realistic in others in that it uses teams of current Major League Baseball players. Therefore, it simulates real the real decisions needed by managers to make predictions about the performances of their players for the current season.
This method involved rolling over into succeeding years of your fantasy seasons. Keeper leagues allow the game players, or managers, to keep the players they want on their roster from the previous season, as well as having a fantasy draft to acquire new players.
There are variations in rules for different types of keeper leagues. In a salary cap league, an auction process or the player’s real salary will determine the fantasy salary. Another variation is the draft round values system, where a table indexed by the draft round and the player’s selection order determines the value of the player.
If playing in a fantasy league that goes on for years isn’t your thing, you can join a daily league like FanDuel. RotoGrinders.com has your back with FanDuel specials, along with advice to better your fantasy game.
Fantasy team names
Each year, fantasy baseball owners have several important tasks — winning the league is the main one. But the second? Having that clever name.
Giancarlo Ferrari-King, a featured columnist on the Bleacher Report, has compiled his list of his favorite names for the 2015 season. One of his best is The Balking Dead, a combination of a baseball “oops” and a take-off of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Not only that, it has a great acronym — TBD. If you can’t think of a clever team name of your own, visit Team Names, a website featuring a random team name generator.
Have fun selecting your players, thinking of a clever name, and keeping your stress level down. May the best team win!