League History

Original Bitnet Fantasy League Baseball

League History compiled by Jim Teresco - please send comments, suggestions, and corrections to terescoj@cs.rpi.edu.

Last Update: Sat Jul 1 20:09:50 EDT 1995

The Beginning

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 season.

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 names???

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 interesting...

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 would continue.


The draft, at least the first few and last few picks.

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 Kris...

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 administration.


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.

Off-season, 1992-93

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.


1993-94 Off-season

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 draft.

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.