Now, imagine the trepidation facing the casual baseball fan who has just been invited to play in a fantasy baseball league with friends.
I'm here to explain why you should not only be unafraid to participate in fantasy baseball but you should embrace the opportunity. This blog isn't designed for the fantasy baseball player who geeks out when the new Bill James Handbook is published or flies to Las Vegas to participate in a dynasty league draft of minor league players. Instead, this space is reserved for you, the person interested in exploring fantasy league baseball for the first time. It's a safe space. You won't be judged for not knowing the difference between WHIP and ERA. We won't roll our eyes when you ask, "Why is Albert Pujols more valuable than Adam LaRoche?"
You might ask, why write a blog for fantasy baseball beginners? According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, fantasy sports participation has grown over 60 percent the past four years, with more than 32 million people now actively playing in the U.S. and Canada. And the market continues to grow as casual sports fans, both men and women, are introduced to the hobby. While the demographic snapshot of the average fantasy baseball participant is a college-educated, white, male, the number of females participating has grown to about 10 percent annually.
|SFRRC Fantasy Baseball Challenge members prep for the draft.|
I've played fantasy baseball for more than 25 years and this is the most satisfying league I've been involved with. It's successful because it's fun and it's fun because everyone is supportive. But, don't for a second believe that the supportive, nurturing nature of this league reduces the competitiveness. Remember, these are road racers. Setting and achieving goals is part of their basic DNA. They are all college educated professionals so competition is part of their daily lives. They want to succeed in everything they do. Fantasy baseball is no exception.
I use the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball Challenge to illustrate how newcomers to fantasy baseball, even people with very little knowledge of baseball, can enjoy the hobby. In our second season, a woman who knew nothing about baseball a year earlier won her division pennant. She enters our third season with a good shot at winning a second pennant.
Fantasy baseball is for anyone interested in baseball or interacting socially with a group of friends over a shared hobby. Like any hobby, it's meant to be fun.
This blog will be a safe space to learn about fantasy baseball. You'll learn how the game is played, including the different structures used in fantasy leagues, how the game is scored, how Major League players are assigned to your team, the different statistics used to measure the performance of your team's players and how you, the manager, can influence the success of your team.
If there is enough interest, I'll put together a league specifically for fantasy baseball newcomers. You'll learn fast if you are involved. Besides, if you participate in a fantasy baseball league with other newbies you'll have study partners.
NEXT UP: HOW TO DESIGN A FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUE FOR BEGINNERS