The Official Rules for the Tri-Valley League
The Good Book
It was a clear sun shiny day in Van Nuys California when I strolled into Karl Fishers office at Borg Warner and popped down a copy of the Rotisserie League baseball rules book. I briefly explained the rules and how the game is played. Within 15 minutes, the Kingfishers were born. I saw Karl's eyes roll back into his head and a spot of drool form on his mouth.... as visions of trades danced in his head. Needless to say, I did not know what I had created that Winter day.
So it began, the Tri-Valley league. During the next month, Karl and I recruited others within the company to join us in the greatest game since baseball. Scott Jurkewitz, Ron Hite, Greg Harris, Jack Cummings, Rich Jennings, and Bob Smith.
The First Draft
The first draft for the Tri-Valley league was a memorable one, back then we used the standard draft dollars- $260 for 23 players. It was held at Ron Hites home. It lasted over 8 hours. Jack drank too much and passed out, so Karl filled his team with $1 players. It was a poker game from the start. Some players were serious, some were not. At the end- the Tri-Valley League was officially born.
That First Season
Within a month after the league began, one owner, Bob Smith sold his team to John Walls- thus the WAR (Walls-A-Rama) was born.
During that first season, the rules were tested. With an unlimited reserve team and unlimited dollar amount, one team took advantage of these things. The Diamond Dogs. Owned by Rich Jennings, his cunning as an owner was obvious, and he showed no mercy. If you lost a first baseman during the season, he would buy all of the available ones at our weekly meeting. Leaving you with nothing, and a hole in your lineup. In the years following, many new rules changes would be implemented... most were called 'Anti-Dog rules'. Each year Rich would find a loophole and exploit it.
With unlimited trades, unlimited reserve teams, and unlimited funds. You can imagine that the ability to spend to improve your team was tempting. There were teams those first few years that spent over $2,000 on their team during the season.
The Post Season Gala was an event like none other, and we have not had a post season gala like that first one since. Yahoo flowed over the Diamond Dogs head as he took the crown and the prize of over $4,000 in our inaugural season. At the post season gala, Jack once again drank too much and passed out.
Highlights on and off the field....
One day in Palmdale California, Myself, Karl and Scott starred in a video. A Rap Video called "Roto-Rap". Using used pizza boxes with the words scribbled on them laying on the floor, having drank about 2 cases of beer and peppermint schnapps- we put together a video that should be in the Rotisserie Hall-of-Fame. I believe there are a couple copies of the tapes still in existence.... somewhere. (If I can find them, I'd burn them.)
A few times a season we travel to Dodger Stadium for a baseball game, and our weekly meeting. But on August 17, 1992, Dodger pitcher Kevin Gross threw a 2-0 no hitter against the Giants. And we were there... (I wasn't.... damn it!)
The passing of Jack Cummings
Sadly, Jack Cummings past away after leaving our league. At that time we renamed the last place trophy, the "Cummings Cup" in honor of Jack.
The Kingfish enter Trade-aholic-anonymous
The Kingfish owner, Karl Fischer spent 6 months in rehab for trade abuse in 1994. The clinic operated by Jack McKeon had various methods such as electro shock therapy, watching videos of Bill Buckner booting a ground ball, and dream therapy of finishing 5th in a Rotisserie Hockey League 6 years in a row. We all hoped and prayed that Karl would survive this crippling disease. And we thought he had until one fateful night in May 1998, when Karl broke down and traded Mark McGwire to me for God knows who.
Online Stat Service
Wow.... thanks I needed that. Until 1996, our stats were kept by us- pulling data from the newspaper every week, entering that data into an excel spreadsheet, and mailing it out- only to get bombarded when we forgot an RBI or SB. I say we... actually- Bruce, Karl and myself were the stat keepers at various times those early years.
Layoffs, and Divorces.... and we still
During the early 90's hard times hit many of the owners, in one season we had 3 divorces.... of course none were attributed to the game. We also had the Aerospace crunch, where a number of us got laid off. Financial stress made us make some serious changes to our league rules. First we cut the salary's in half. From a $260 draft to a $130 draft. Then we put a salary cap on the season spending per team of $500. As for the divorces.... most of us have re-married at least once..... we didn't put a cap on those!
A few teams have changed, a few teams have left. Following our inaugural season, our beloved commish for life, Bruce Weber joined the mix with Max's Misfits. A few years later we were joined for one season by the memorable Steve Kuntz and his team, the Kuntz Klutz Klan. In 1992 we welcomed another team into the league, the Dmen. Owned by Chris Dreiling, he was a co-worker at Kahr Bearing. Chris's expertise in statistics has brought him into the money on more than one occasion. The following years brought in Tom Degani, the owner of SMB, Frank Massey of Franks and Beans and our 9th team the Donuts, owned and operated... undercover by Scott Hawkins our DEA representative. In 2001 we expanded again- much to Karl's excitement... another team to trade with. Welcome to the league the Barbies! The Barbies don't like their name in 2002, so they changed to the Mauraders... grrrrr sounds scary huh? In 2007 we welcomed Damage Inc. They are owned by Dana Greer- they finished the season with the minimum 10 points! For most of the season they were invisible, making one trade with their parent team the Dogs... This put the league at 10 teams and the pickings rather meek for the season. Following the 2007 season Damage left the TriValley league and also longtime owner Frank Massey retired not only from work abut also from our league. Frank will be missed. But the good old FnB's were soon bought by fellow Aerospace worker David (I hope he has a deep) Walit, and the FnB's were renamed the Parrothead Dodgers... I have re-named them the PDiddys. Good luck Diddys!
1998- The year of the Rockets... sort of.....
the 1998 season, the Rocket engine ignited and blasted it's way to the
the TVL for the entire season- almost. Going into the last few weeks of
season, the Rockets were so confidant in their 3 point lead, that they
20-day Mediterranean Cruise. On the cruise ship, there was no internet
so I could not check the standings. But prior to my leaving I made a
solidify my team destiny. I added Rod Beck to my relief corps. Well,
ended, but their still remained ONE game to be played- because of a tie
NL Central. The Cubs had to play one game against the Giants for the
race. At this point the Rockets held a 1/2 point lead against the
BUT, in the bottom of the 9th, on the last day... no wait, AFTER the
last day of
the season.... The Cubs brought in their ACE closer, Rod Beck to shut
Giants.... well, my last roster move, before hopping on the cruise ship
put Mr. Beck into my lineup. He proceeded to give up 2 earned runs,
my ERA .003 down, which put the Dogs into first place. Of course,
this was happening I was vacationing in Europe. So one nice, day, after
docked in Portafino Italy, I was walking around this cute and
town and came upon a cyber cafe.... I logged on and went to the TVL
When the final standing appeared on my screen- I sat there screaming at
computer screen... well I have to tell you, those Italians had never
like that. So, 1998- was the season of the Rockets.... almost...
2007.... I finished 7th.... no wait it was 5th! And I am in the MONEY!
One game left, I have a solid lock on 7th place... then the final game of the season the Rockies and the Padres need a one game playoff to decide the winner of the NL West. During the game the Fish players out hit the Boobs.... moving the Fish up in BA to .2718 to the Boobs .2716. This moved The Rockets .5 ahead of the Boobs into 6th place behind the 5th place Kingfishers. But wait one minute boys and girls- reviewing the rule book for the TVL... a team must have a minimum of 1100 Innings pitched during the season or forfeit their points in ERA and Ratio. Looking at the Fish's pitching stats, he only had 1050 Innings Pitched! This dropped the Fish into last place or close to it! It moved the Mighty Rockets into the money and 5th place. Funny..... in 1989 it was a one game playoff that took me out of 1st place and in 2007, it was a one game playoff that put me into the money!
2010... The Dmen do it again... 13 years later!
In the 21 year history of the league, the champion has been either the Dogs or Misfits for 17 of those years. Finally after a 13 year span, the Dmen are back on top of the Tri-Valley League! The Dmen finished in the top 4 spots 6 times during that period, with a 2nd place finish in 2009. Congrats to the Dmen! Champions of the Tri-Valley League 2010!
2011- the passing of John Walls
One season after John left our league, he left the Earth. God speed my friend, you will be missed.
2014- 1998 Redux
After leading most of the 2014 season, the Rockets once again relinquished first place in the last two days of the season, losing 1st place by one Win, and overtaken again by the Diamond Dogs. This was however a record breaking season, with two TVL recods falling, Saves to the Misfit- 121 and Ratio- Rockets 1.1514.
The history of the Various teams
the Tri-Valley League
Tri-Valley League Records Page