Back in 1997, I joined the El Torito fantasy baseball league, consisting mostly of a bunch of Northeastern University classmates and their friends. It was my first "live" league, as up until that time I only played in Internet leagues, which as you might imagine, was a very tedious endeavor 15 years ago.
We had our auction and it went pretty well. One guy was on the phone, the rest were there in person. While I will not say I was intimidated, it was not the most comfortable experience, as I was definitely an outsider, not to mention a few years older than the group.
A few weeks into the season, I got an instant message from someone in the league, wanting to talk about a trade. I did not recognize the username, but he explained he was the phone guy from the draft. We exchanged several IMs, but we could not hammer out a deal.
I mentioned this to one of the league members I had struck up a bit of a friendship with and he laughed, saying something about how this guy feasts on fleecing newbies and he was somewhat surprised I was not his latest victim.
A couple of days later, I got another IM. It was the phone guy, wanting to know if I had a minute, he wanted to give me a call. Figuring he was going to continue our previous trade negotiations, I gave him my number.
As it turns out, the call was not about a trade, but rather a business proposal. Would I have any interest in writing for a new fantasy baseball web site, about to be launched?
The phone guy was of course Jason Grey.
Today, Jason announced he is leaving ESPN to take a job with a Major League club.
I just want to take a minute to congratulate Jason. Back in the day, we made a heckuva team. Jason was as good as there was in the fantasy baseball industry, an eloquent writer and an outstanding player. His contributions will be sorely missed. But trust me when I say first hand that our loss will be MLB's gain. There are 29 teams that just got a little weaker because one was smart enough to hire Jason.
Good luck buddy!!!