Our guest writer today is Aldrin.
How Fantasy baseball Began
It was said that fantasy baseball was first seen in code from an IBM 1620 computer. The code came from John Burgeson, an IBM employee, and this code was distributed in the IBM Corporation for several years. The game allowed two competing teams to play via a number generator and player statistics. These are the factors that determine the winner of the game. Included in the computer program is a play by play description. The IBM code was limited to only 20,000 memory positions and the whole code and game was self-contained.
In 1961, a radio personality named Rege Cordic focused on the game and produced a radio program based on the game.
An early term for fantasy baseball is called table top baseball as the exchange and the winning is all transacted on a table.
A popular form of the game was launched by Strat-O-Matic in 1964 and the company customized cards of the Major League Baseball game. The cards featured players with statistics of their performance from last season. These card games allowed players to recreate last season’s games with actual player statistics.
Fantasy baseball’s first public appearance was in 1989 and was developed by Robert Barbiere and Brad Wendkos of Phoneworks. These men got the services of West Coast Ad Agency and they launched the game and published it on local newspapers. The readers were encouraged to create teams using major league players. These readers can earn stats and base the performance of their ‘fantasy’ team on real baseball data. Winners were given prizes. From this exposure, playing fantasy baseball has become a great big competition for fans.
In the New York Public Library, there are accounts of renowned writer Jack Kerouac about being a participant in fantasy baseball. Kerouac was said to have started young and developed and played fantasy baseball until his old age.
Today, the game has become more popular and far-reaching all because of the Internet.
Read BallparkBob’s History of Fantasy Baseball story here.