Fantasy baseball: It’s more than a game


illustration by Andrea Nebhut, staff illustrator

You call yourself a baseball fan, but do you really know what WOBA is? No? That’s OK. How about VORP? Didn’t think so.

The average baseball fan probably isn’t spending much time mulling over advanced baseball metrics. If your team wins, you’re happy. If your favorite player hits a home run, that’s an added bonus. Members of the St. John’s fantasy baseball league do not think this way.

Fantasy baseball is a game where members of a fantasy league — usually 8–12 people — draft real major league baseball players from across the MLB onto their virtual “team.” The players’ statistical performances in real life dictate how well one’s fantasy team does.

I have been a proud part of the 12-man St. John’s league since middle school; the league comprises myself and 11 friends from middle and high school, and all of us share two things in common: a love of baseball and a love of trash talking.

Countless high school evenings were spent talking as much trash as possible over everyone else’s teams. Even if your team’s pitcher melted down or your best hitter went 0-5, there was always something to be said about the poor quality of another person’s team. The top-three finishers in the league receive a cash prize — the amount seems to vary from year to year — in addition to bragging rights.

Yes, the league has done a lot to enhance the league members’ collective baseball knowledge, but the value the league has brought goes well beyond that. I never expected to work together with the members of my league in any sort of business context.

However, during one night of typical trash talking, one of my buddies messaged about the idea of all of us working together on creating a website with information and advice on fantasy baseball. After going through the steps of acquiring a domain name from GoDaddy, the men of St. John’s fantasy baseball league had succeeded in creating

Although our site is no longer up — we figured that since we were all going to different schools for college it would be impossible to keep a schedule for producing content — I look back fondly on the memories I have of writing for our site. The site also led me to explore other opportunities, including writing for pre-existing fantasy websites and attending classes focusing on sports communication.

The website may no longer exist, but the league itself is very much still in existence. We may not message each other as constantly as we used to in high school, but the league has definitely been a way for everyone to keep in touch and maintain their baseball knowledge. The league has given me countless memories and I wouldn’t trade my league with my group of guys for any other league out there.

I just know that one day when we’re all 40 years old, have families of our own and are working full time, we will always make time to keep in touch and continue the storied St. John’s fantasy league.