The roots of modern Internet-oriented fantasy sports can be dated back 25 years to Rotisserie League Baseball.

It is famed that Daniel Okrent- a now well-renowned sportswriter- invented the rules to Rotisserie baseball on the back of a cocktail napkin on a long cross-country flight.

The innagural season of Rotisserie baseball began on the first Sunday after the Opening Day of the 1980 National League. The game's namesake was La Rotisserie Francaise, a locals' hangout in New York frequented by Okrent.   The first group of team owners were entirely composed of writers and publishers, thereby word of the league spread quickly via the  use of literary pulpits. 
Wrote one of the original members in a 1980’s article written for Sports Illustrated,
"The Rotisserie League is silly, and we know that. We also know that it has caused great changes in the lives of each and every one of us, mostly for the better. We play for money, of course, but we also play for friendship, competition, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Rotisserie baseball was low on the public radar until the mid-1990’s, when leagues began to branch out into football, basketball, and other sports.

 

However, the process of manually calculating stats was what kept the past.  It took a true baseball aficionado to possess the patience required to painstakingly maneuver through all those statistics.

The Internet boom of the lat 1990's created a revolution in the game. Enabling gamers to easily compute stats and monitor their teams brought Rotisserie baseball into the fantasy sports industry that we know today.

"It used to be thought of as (something for) just geeks and hard core fans. But this isn't a small closet hobby anymore. This son of bitch is a big, big industry, and it's all due to the Internet."
Greg Ambrosius, president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA).

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"Fantasy Sports" as produced through University of Florida MMC5015

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