In the spring of 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush was President, the Pittsburgh Pirates were coming off of back-to-back National League East division championships and the Pittsburgh Penguins were about to win their second Stanley Cup title. Meanwhile, I was a high school junior and joined a NL-only/auction/keeper rotisserie baseball league with some friends. Please note that I wrote rotisserie baseball since there was no such thing as fantasy baseball back then.
At the time, we (and be we I mean someone else in the league that was not me) calculated stats by hand by looking through baseball box scores in the newspaper. I think we called the league Commissioner each week to make transactions. The entire league spread out for college but we still returned to Pittsburgh for live auction drafts and maintained correspondence by e-mail. We even hired a guy to do stats for us. It truly was exciting to get weekly e-mails with the standings.
After college, I moved to San Diego but stayed in the league. I wasn't able to attend the drafts, so I must have drafted by phone or via Instant Messenger.
Over the years, the league moved online to Commissioner.com and then Sportsline until the company was bought out by CBS Sports (who still thinks Vance Worley pitches for the Minnesota Twins). With much of the league starting families, live drafts became more and more difficult. Now everything is online, and we can see stats updated live.
In my 23 years in this league, I never won. There were some near misses including losing on the final day of the season one year. I also made arguably the worst trade in league history when I traded Gary Sheffield at the beginning of a MVP-caliber season for Deion Sanders and an ancient Dale Murphy. Yes, this league has been around a long time. I also traded Benito Santiago for a can of Coke. Dave Clark was a regular fixture on my team during the 90s, and I once drafted Roberto Meija who I nicknamed Meija & fries since I thought fajita and Meija sounded similar and why wouldn't you want fries with a fajita?
Now, in the 23rd year, I can finally write that I've won the league. I'd like to thank Russell Martin, Freddie Freeman, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann, Kyle Lohse, Miguel Montero, Eric Young (who the Mets never seemed to want to play), Matt Garza, Luis Valbuena, Addison Reed and even the injured Troy Tulowitzki and Pedro Alvarez for being on my team all season. Maybe the addition of Pedro Tulo to my family was the good luck charm.
I also mortgaged any type of future by trading cheap keepers (ex. Tanner Roark & Alfredo Simon), super prospects (ex. Andrew Heaney & Kris Bryant) and nearly all of my minor league draft picks (yes, this is a super-geeky league) for players like Ryan Howard, Ben Revere (who was awesome), Aroldis Chapman, Adam Wainwright, Kenley Jansen, Adrian Gonzalez and Madison Bumgarner (who I hope pitches horribly in the Wednesday wild card game against the Pirates).
If I created a bucket list, winning this league would certainly be on it. Well, I can now cross this off the list. Now, I'm going to go out and buy Yoo-Hoo just so I can pour it over my head to celebrate! And yes, I have no problem including this song to end this post.