Original Rotisserie League Holds Fantasy Baseball Draft
Most new players don’t know it as anything but “fantasy baseball,” but the game we all play was originally known as “Rotisserie Baseball.”
In fact, the game has given rotisserie a whole new meaning. Just ask Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “of relating to or being a sports league consisting of imaginary teams whose performance is based on the statistics of actual players.”
It began in a cheap French restaurant and ended in a garage owned by ESPN The Magazine. That’s right. The original league that started it all is calling it quits this season after 28 years of existence and a fantasy sports craze that swept not only the nation, but the world.
Over the years, the original players actually copyrighted the name “Rotisserie.” They had hoped to make quite a bit of money off of the name, but that never happened, because somewhere along the line, the term “fantasy baseball” came along. “Fantasy baseball” does tell you what it’s all about, unlike “rotisserie” which really doesn’t. The guys did, however, have a successful book and all have gone on to successful careers mostly in the field of sports writing.
But getting in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary? That’s huge! So, dump a six pack of Yoohoo on these guys heads!
This is a must see for anybody who has ever played fantasy baseball. The video of the final Rotisserie League draft can be found right here on Fantasy Baseball Dugout.
From the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
1868, “restaurant where meat is roasted on a spit,” from Fr. rôtisserie “shop selling cooked food, restaurant,” from prp. stem of rôtir “to roast,” from O.Fr. rostir (see roast). As an in-home cooking apparatus, attested from 1953. Manufacturers (or their copy writers) back-formed a verb, rotiss (1958). Rotisserie league (1980), a form of fantasy baseball, is based on La Rotisserie, the Manhattan restaurant where it was conceived.
Note — The author, BallparkBob was almost one of the originals of Rotisserie Baseball. He began playing in his first league at a restaurant called the Chestnut Pub on Chestnut Street in Morgantown, West Virginia in 1981 while a senior journalism major at West Virginia University. The author does not, however, claim to have attended Woodstock.