An experience that mirrors my own

by David Mahlan

The history and lore of my league (the CFCL, which lasted 35 years) and Roto in general has always been one of my favorite parts of the experience, and I’ve still got filing boxes of the standings, roster change reports, etc. going all the way back to our first season in 1984 when record keeping was done by hand and typed up on a manual typewriter. Your book inspired me to dig them out, and I just spent an hour re-living the late 80s & early 90s.

I’m fascinated by the development and early days of Roto, so this early part of the book is glorious for me. Your description of the origins of BAGS is similar to my memories of starting the CFCL (though as high school students, we were even poorer than you – we used a $2.60 budget rather than Roto’s $260 or BAGS’ $26). That transcript from the 1989 draft is priceless … so familiar.

I’m also reveling in the memories that had long faded about early publications & services … articles about Roto from various publications (including ads for the RLB video that you describe so hilariously in the book), services like Sportsphone (lord, I only assume Crown Books didn’t receive itemized phone bills when I was working there and calling for scores & updates multiple times a night), or the message boards on AOL. I had completely forgotten about Sandlot Shrink and the Fantasy Baseball Central site. Of course, I haven’t forgotten about the early days of Baseball Forecaster and Fantasy Baseball Journal, as I’ve still got binders containing all the issues.