Fantasy Baseball: MLB Nerd Maker!

Today, we get an article from friend of the site Sam Mark. It combines two of this sites favorite things, Sports (and in particular, baseball) and nerdism. Please enjoy Sam’s words:

Let’s get something established here.

My first indoctrination to baseball was piggybacking on my father’s shoulders as the Minnesota Twins World Series parade celebrated in downtown Minneapolis in 1989.  I, of course, only know this because of shotty video recordings of me.
Then, came T-Ball, where my highlights included me running into the outfield to avoid being tagged out at 2nd base (I got out).
Later, I went to my first Twins game, where one of the players threw me a ball, to only have it ripped out of my hands by a no good selfish friend.  I would end up being his best man at his wedding.
Lastly, I played a year of baseball in 4th grade, where I was beamed by the 2nd fastest pitcher in the league, cried all the way to 1st base, and solidified my black sheepness on the “All-Star” team I was placed on.
What I’m getting at, is I had no reason to enjoy baseball growing up.  Sure, the Twins won two World Series’ during my life, but the ninja turtles were just far more interesting (and forgiving) than baseball.
Baseball grew a little more interesting, when girls I knew enjoyed baseball.  But, let’s face it, it wasn’tbaseball’s bases I was attracted to…
Frankly, baseball was boring.
Fast forward to 3 years ago.  A friend of mine sends me an e-mail to join his Fantasy Baseball league.  I scoffed.  I was a die hard Fantasy Football guru and anything BUT was a waste of my time.  But, the friend was in a pinch and needed people.  I joined and named my team, “The Hot Ice,” after my favorite baseball movie: Rookie of the Year. (It’s the best of both worlds.)
Researching for my first draft, I only had one thought: “Fuck, there are a lot of players in baseball.”
What did I just get myself into?  Sure, the league was free, but to filter through both the NL AND the AL?  I didn’t even know what an walk-off homerun was (true story… at that time)!
I went through multiple mock drafts, basically going through the motions… until the actual draft happened.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I would rank “drafting a fantasy team” up next to vacationing in the tropics or sex.  It is a euphoric, adrenaline pumping, exciting experience that when it’s over… you are in withdrawal and a little sweaty.
I had my team picked and I was ready to win it all.  I’m a competitive person.
However, there was still that underlying truth that I had no idea what I was doing.  When my team suffered, I wanted to drop and trade everyone at the drop of a hat. When my team did well, my ego was the biggest it’s ever been.
Now, I’m about to get to my point and it’s a little cheesy, but if you weren’t interested, you would have stopped reading by the time I mentioned baseball being boring.
Honestly, baseball is still a little boring.  But, I found myself SO fascinated with details like a batters OBP or a WHIP based on home or away games… I found out I was becoming a nerd.  A fantasy baseball nerd.
This was enough to inspire something within me that was so lost when I was growing up.  I was discussing strategies and player potential with people I had otherwise considered strangers.  I grew more connected with friends and new friends.
All from fantasy baseball.
Sure, baseball most likely instills this in the biggest fans, but for something to inspire someone so uninterested in baseball is a powerful medium.  You could even say it’s a spiritual ritual.
OK, maybe not, but as a Twins fan, what else could possibly make me want to root for the White Sox?
 Check out this awesome ESPN 30 for 30 about the creation of fantasy sports. It is called “Silly Little Game”
Sam Mark is a comedian, improviser, and all-around decent guy who’s trying to be better at being on time for things.
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1 Comment

  1. I’ve passed up sex to do a live online auction draft before. But to be fair, that chick was pretty fat.


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