During the summer of 1978, I had the good fortune of discovering another kid at my school with the same unnatural obsession with baseball as me. We spent many hours each day discussing the important topics of the day... things the rising cost of a pack of baseball cards, the amazing taste of a Reggie bar, and if Pete Rose could break DiMaggio's 56 game hit streak.
At some point, unaware of strat-o-matic or any other similar games, we created a simple dice based baseball game using our expansive collection of baseball cards. Our little game developed into a fantasy draft and an eight team fantasy league complete with rosters and lineups. We even created team names and logos. I named my team the Houston Stars, accompanied by the Astrodome's Home Run spectacular featured in the second Bad News Bears movie.
About halfway through our schedule, hovering around .500 (which would make sense, considering the game was based on totally random numbers from rolling dice) -- I decided I really needed to shake-up my team. One morning I woke up 100% convinced the only player that could possibly make the difference for my lineup was NL batting champ Dave Parker. I was determined to get him, no matter the cost. I ended up packaging 5 or 6 players to persuade my friend to allow Parker join the Houston Stars.
In the end, Parker's performance met my expectations and "the Cobra" graphics looked great on my imaginary Astrodome scoreboard. He and Steve Garvey got hot and propelled my team into our fantasy playoffs... where I predictably suffered a humiliating defeat to a lesser team. In this case, fantasy was just a little to close to reality.
I blame expansion!
4 hours ago