MLB Fantasy Baseball History And How It Killed The Baseball Card Industry!
Of course the over production of baseball cards is a primary driver in the industry going from boom to bust. However, to the sports card industry – the evolvement of Fantasy Baseball has been like an ‘Angel Of Death’. In our opinion Fantasy Baseball was the final NAIL in the sports card coffin! It is a driving factor in why those Ken Griffy Jr., Don Mattingly, Cal Ripken, etc. rookie cards are worth a fraction of what they once were. This might be putting things mildly… those cards are worth DOG SHIT!
At the sports cards industry peak – kids connected with baseball players through trading cards. Like a stockbroker accumulating shares of an organization… youths justified their schoolyard net worth by the number of Derek Jeter rookie cards they had laminated in a plastic binder. These cards had value. They were coveted, sought after and traded. When value in the trading card market was lost – trading players within a fantasy baseball league became a lot more interesting.
Value or $$$ quickly becomes part of the of the Fantasy Baseball equation. Accumulating players as part of a Fantasy Baseball team became more appealing then hording worthless cards. Let’s jump into the history and evolution of this phenomenon.
The Early History Of Fantasy Baseball
Materials in an archive at the New York Public Library show how the famous author Jack Kerouac (1922-69) created and played a private fictitious version of Fantasy Baseball. (Fake Fantasy Baseball by yourself…. What a weirdo!)
In 1961, an early form of REAL fantasy baseball was coded for IBM computers by an individual named John Burgeson. The program allowed two teams to play one another using random number generation and player stats in determining game outcomes.
The 1st publicly open fantasy baseball game, Dugout Derby, was developed in 1989 by Lee Marc, Robert Barbiere and Brad Wendkos of Phoneworks who teamed with a West Coast Ad Agency (Wakeman & deForest) to launch the game in to twelve of the largest local newspapers across the country. Papers that offered Dugout Derby included the LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, and NY Post. Archives of Dugout Derby are available in most public libraries. Dugout Derby allowed readers to create a team of major league players, earn stats for those players based on actual performance, trade those players on a daily basis, and accrue points in an effort to compete against one another to win prizes.
StatementGames Fantasy Baseball
From a traditional sense there are three main types of Fantasy Baseball formats – Rotisserie, Head-to-Head & Points. StatementGames has created a different type of Fantasy Baseball. The 1-minute overview video found on the platforms Home Page will outline how StatementGames is different. In the StatementGames version of Fantasy Baseball, players select Baseball “Prop-Bets” or “Statements” that pertain to an individual sporting event. As a baseball game is played, points are awarded for correct statements. Compete in leagues of 8-12 and the individual with the most points from correct “Statements” Wins! Free-2-PLAY!