MLBB – An Alternate History – 19th century league

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    Major League Base Ball – An Alternate History

    Yes, Base Ball. Two words. That is how it was spelled in the mid-19th century. My name is Ray Fleetwood. Some of you may remember me as the GM of the St. Louis Browns in Radio Days Baseball and more recently as the former GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the former version of Dugout Wizards. When Joe started a 19th century league, The American Pastime, I was an enthusiastic supporter. When he pulled the plug on TAP, I joined another 19th century league, Vintage Baseball League. Then about a year ago the commissioner of the VBL just disappeared. He stopped communicating and the game stopped. Since then I have looking in the OOTP forums, in vain, to find another 19th century league. So, I have decided to start one myself.

    This will be my first attempt at an online league. I’m sure I will not be perfect and will make a few errors. Hopefully not major ones. Six former owners from the previously mentioned VBL have agreed to join me so I am looking for an eighth owner to complete the field. Joe has graciously allowed me to post here, and on Slack, in order to find the owner I need to fill the league.

    My goal is to try to stay as historically accurate as OOTP will allow. But, I also want it to truly be an alternate history. So, I have decided to use fictional players. This will mean that the GMs will have to build their teams by evaluating players instead of already knowing who the stars are before the game starts. The league, the National Association of Base Ball Clubs (NA), will start with eight of the original nine clubs in the National Association, sorry Fort Wayne. There will also be an independent eight team minor league, the League Alliance (LA), that will compete directly with the NA for talent. Teams that fail on the field and financially will be relegated to the minors, if not disbanded, and successful teams from the minor league will take their place in the NA. The American Association, Player’s League, and Union Association will not form but the NA will expand to 12 teams in 1882. Once the NA has 12 teams from what I call the “13 Major League Cities” of the 19th century; Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Louisville, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington; the league will be locked into place for the remainder of the 19th century. Being from Oregon, I would like to see the Pacific Coast League become the second Major League at the turn of the century, if we get that far.

    Teams will have a 15 man roster, the smallest allowed by OOTP, and a $4000 salary cap. For the first five years all contracts will be for one year, as was the rule in the old NA. Teams will be allowed to offer their players a one year extension during the last month of the season. All unsigned players at season’s end will be free agents. In 1876, multi-year contract will be allowed with a 3-year maximum. After the 1879 season, teams will be allowed to “reserve” 5 players for the 1880 season. The reserve clause will expand to 11 players in 1883, 12 players in 1885, 14 players in 1887, and the entire roster in 1892. This will be just as what occurred in the National League.

    One last feature of MLBB will be to inject ourselves into the game. Each owner will choose one player on his 1871 roster and that player will assume the owner’s name, birthdate, and hometown. That player will also become the GM, manager, and owner of the team.

    If MLBB interests you please PM here at SimSportLeagues.

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