So this afternooon is yet another fantasy baseball draft in a lifetime of fantasy baseball drafts. You know I remember my first one like it was yesterday. And like your first time in other activities your first fantasy baseball draft will always be special. There’s an innocence and a fascination about it.
I remember back in 1999 I finally got signed up for ESPN Fantasy Baseball. I actually got my mom to give me her credit card because back in those days it was $39.99 to play on ESPN. This was before the economy was shot and guys would actually pay that much money easily to play in ESPN’s league. First prize was a t-shirt, but I won the league in 2002 and never saw shit. I got randomly placed in some league full of a bunch of guys I didn’t know and I was absolutely thrilled. I was going to get to test my baseball knowledge against strangers dotting the globe. How cool of an idea I thought it was to get to be in a live draft with a bunch of guys. The draft was over my spring break, and since I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t make the varsity team in high school so that year I was at home.
It was the night of the NCAA Final Four, and the Ohio State Buckeyes were on against UConn and I got to take part in that first fantasy draft. It was a fascinating concept and I managed to snag two guys I was in love with back then; Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez. They went on to be two of the most dominant players in baseball that year. And in a draft where I watched the NCAA Final Four between picks and listened to a Boston CD I just got, I selected a team that would finish 3rd in my debut. I would only begin to play with friends in years to come, but it was still the neatest draft I ever had and because fantasy baseball was all new to me then it was some of the most fun I had doing it.