Original Bitnet Fantasy League Baseball
League History compiled by Jim Teresco - please send comments,
suggestions, and corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Update: Sat Jul 1 20:09:50 EDT 1995
The Original Bitnet Fantasy League began as a neat idea, proposed by
Jason Grazado at Union College during spring training in 1989. The
discussion list "BASEBALL" on the UMNEWS file server at the
University of Maine was the original home of the league. Soon, a new
list, "Neon_Sign" was created during the formation of the league,
which came to be known as the "Neon Sign Stat League" (NSSL).
Kristofer Munn, then a freshman at SUNY-Stony Brook, became the
league's first Commissioner. He wrote up a set of rules, a draft was
held, and our first season was underway.
During the first season, there were 10 teams, with players selected
from 14 pre-selected Major League teams. The
original 10 teams.
Before the first season was over, the server at UMNEWS was being shut
down. At this time, the official birth of STATLG-L took place, with
a message from Kris Munn.
I thought the first season lasted 13 weeks, but the last records I
have a from Week 12. The playoff results seem to have been lost by me
somehow...but I do have:
With almost half of a MLB season left, we held a mid-season draft,
picked up a bunch of new owners, and played another 9 week season.
The 10 teams for the 2nd season of 1989.
Nine weeks later, we were out of baseball season, so there were no
playoffs. The Thunderbirds were declared 1989 Season 2 NSSL
Champions, by virtue of having the better record during the regular
By the first off season, there were many more people interested in the
league than there were teams available. The decision was made to
expand the league to 20 teams, selecting players from all 26 MLB
teams. Here's a sample of the waiting
list soon after the 1989 season ended: Recognize any of these
One point of discussion to come up was the selection of a new name
for the Neon Sign Statistics League. The new name chosen would be the "Bitnet Baseball League (BBL)". And there were other popular off-season 1989-90 topics.
Nine teams would return intact, and 11 new teams would be formed for
the 1990 season. The 9 existing teams kept 7-15 players on their
rosters. All others would be released and were available for
drafting, in addition to all players on the 12 MLB teams not
previously used. The new teams began drafting at round 1, and others
joined in as the new teams caught up to them in number of players.
Here's a note I found in with the draft stuff from Spring, 1990. I
have no idea of the context of this, but I thought it was
Here is a sample of the picks from the expansion draft.
The big topic of discussion during the second season of 1990 was the
proposal by Commisioner Kris to abandon our system of a minor league
pool and trading points for a more complicated system involving
paying your team a salary, and a minor league system. The proposal
was put up to a vote, and was defeated 10-6. The existing system
The draft, at least the first few and last
Well, the 1991 season started out fine, under Commissioner Kris Munn
and his stats program. About 3 weeks in, though, things stopped
happening. A note from Karen Starks
expressed our concern, then we heard from
The decision was made to reorganize. We decided to keep things going,
or at least give it a try. First, an owners discussion list was set
up (BB-L@YALEVM). Once we got started, Peter Furmonavicius acted as a
leader and Karen Starks took over statcard processing. We got going
with a list of owners ready to put the league
back on its feet. There was only one full 1991 season.
Peter Furmonavicius announced at the end of the season that he would
no longer be able to act as the league's leader and that the
BB-L@YALEVM discussion would have to find a new home. Matt Arthur
gave the list a new home (and a new name BB2-L) at Washington
University. Again this was a private list, for owners and assistant
GM's only. The league also got a new
By the Spring of '92, these people made up the league, now
officially known as the "Original Bitnet Fantasy League Baseball".
Here are the first few and last few picks from the 1992 midseason draft. And here are the owners for the start of 1992b.
The big news was the decision to expand by 2 teams for the 1993
seasons. The new structure allowed for 2 11-team leagues, and a new
list of owners.
The expansion draft was held to form 2 new teams - the Southern
Hemispheres, owned by Bob Grove (the league's first team to be located
Down Under) and Dave Pretty's Providence Grays.
1993 Mid-season draft.
Expansion came again to the OBFLB during the harsh Winter of 1993-94.
We expanded to 24 teams, with new franchises going to Chip Riggs
(Memphis Bombers) and John Perkins (Piedmont Hackers).
The first few picks in the Expansion
1994 and beyond
During 1994a, we found that we would be losing the services of the
WUVMD machine, so the home of the league's official files moved to the
World Wide Web, at http://virtual.union.edu/obflb/. Much
information about the 1994 seasons (and beyond) can be found on the
WWW at that address.