Figment League Baseball's main mission is to be fun. A lot of that depends on the GMs and commissioner working together The rules below are designed to support that mission by providing a framework within which we can have fun without being overly restrictive.

The league uses Out of the Park Baseball as the simulation engine and to participate in the league all GMs must own the current version of OOTP. The league does upgrade from version to version typically at the conclusion of the season being played when a new version is released as opposed to switching in mid-season.

GENERAL RULES

      • GM PARTICIPATION: The commissioner would prefer not to be the “participation police” but reasonable expectations will need to be met. These are simply to submit exports on a fairly regular basis, paying attention to Slack and the forum, and replying to other GMs in trade discussions. The commissioner may replace any GM who becomes absentee or fails to treat others fairly.
      • SIM SCHEDULE: Games are simmed Monday thru Friday, with exports due by 7am Eastern time.
      • SIM PERIOD: Each sim period covers one week during spring training and the regular season. Postseason sims will be split to cover games 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6 and then game 7 (of 7-game series and 1 & 2, 3 & 4 and 5 in a 5-game series if/when we add division play). Offseason sims will vary in length and the commissioner will provide a schedule on the league’s Slack channel for reference during the October to February offseason.
      • COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: There will be no work stoppages in Figment. The Reserve Clause will be in effect until a similar time frame in which free agency arose in MLB (sometime in the 1970s).
      • FINANCES: Finances matter for things such as signing draftees and free agents and purchasing players from independent minor league teams as well as staff, development budget and player payroll (important mainly in trade negotiations).
      • TRADING: Trades are typically run at the end of a sim period. The only exception to this is the trade deadline sim. 

FREE AGENCY

  • Free Agency will begin at a to-be-determined date, likely in the 1970s.
  • Specifics on how the first years of free agency will work will be posted as the league nears the TBD date of free agency.
     

FEEDER LEAGUES AND AMATEUR DRAFT

There are both a collegiate and high school feeder league. The players who "graduate" from these leagues will be the majority of players in the draft pool. The draft pool may be augmented by additional players if necessary. The specifics on the draft:

  • The draft will take place in early December.
  • Draft order is based on the previous season’s results with the picks alternating by league and the leagues alternating the first overall pick.
  • The Federal Association team with the worst record will pick first in odd-numbered years and the Continental Association team with the worst record picks first in even-numbered years.
  • The draft itself will be done outside the game via StatsLab; the draft will begin one day after the commissioner releases the draft pool (it usually works out to be toward midweek and runs through the weekend). Pick times are slotted with shorter intervals in the later rounds. Any portion not finished “live” will be run by the game on the in-game draft day.
  • Drafted players must be signed. If you do not sign your player he goes back into the draft pool the next season. As was the case in baseball until the 21st century, teams do NOT receive a compensatory pick for not signing their draftees. So try to make sure you sign them.

 

TRADING

Trading is permitted anytime between the end of the World Series and July 31st of the following season. Trades may be for any or all (in combination) of the following: players, cash and/or draft picks with the following restrictions:

  • Both GMs must post on Slack in the Figment Trade Talk channel confirming the deal. Details on the players must be listed and must include the players full name, position and level. For example 2B John Doe (AA) is good. J.Doe is not.
  • Salaries must fit within each team's budget. If the trade would result in someone going over budget, the deal must be reworked with the other team providing cash or retaining some of the player's salary to fit both teams within their budgets.
  • Players can be traded as long as they're under contract. So if you draft and sign a player, you can then trade him. Drafted but not signed players can not be traded.
  • Draft picks can only be traded for the current or upcoming draft. Future year's picks are not able to be traded.
  • Teams are also prohibited from trading consecutive first round picks. If you trade your first round pick in Season 1, you can not trade your Season 2 first round pick. You can however trade the player drafted with that pick as soon as Season 2's draft is completed.

The Rise of the Century League

The sport we know today as baseball grew in the early-to-mid 19th century in various forms across the United States. The sport had evolved from two English games brought to the colonies in the 18th century: rounders and cricket. As industrialization began to take hold and cities grew, the game became increasingly popular as a pastime for the men flocking to the cities for work. By 1845, the first base ball (it was two words back then) club formed in New York, codifying the rules of the game and laying the groundwork for the sport as it exists today.

The primary effect of these rules was to make the game both more distinct from its ancestors such as cricket, and also more fast-paced and challenging. The first official game of baseball was played in 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey between that first club - the New York Knickerbockers - and a team of cricketers.

While the "New York" game was crazily popular in the areas in and around Manhattan by the mid-1850s, similar games were rising in popularity in Philadelphia and Boston, among other places. The New Yorkers had created a National Association of Baseball Players in 1857 with 16 member clubs. The onset of the Civil War in 1861 greatly helped spread the popularity of the New York version of the game as soldiers from across the country played together, leading to a more unified and national version of the sport. At the close of the war in 1865, there were 100 member clubs in the NABBP - four years later there were 400 including clubs in faraway California.

Baseball in 1875
Baseball game in 1875


Professional players and teams were the next logical step in the game's evolution and in 1869, the first professional club was formed in Cincinnati. An abortive attempt at a professional league was floated in 1871, but arguments over rules, membership fees and scheduling resulted in the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs failing before a single game was played.

It took another five years before a man with a vision stepped forward and created the forerunner of today's modern professional baseball leagues. His name was William Whitney and his league was called the Century League.
Whitney's idea was a simple one: the emphasis would be on the 'club' and not the players. Whitney saw that the failure of previous professional endeavors was that it was based on the player and therefore promoted divisizeness as the players were more concerned with themselves than the club. Whitney's plan would make the players employees of a business unit (the team) and therefore bind them to the club. The club itself would be owned by a businessman and run as a business - something the players had heretofore not shown themselves able to manage.

Whitney, a native of Boston, sought like-minded businessmen in other large cities. By the fall of 1875 he had lined up seven other men with the financial wherewithal to field a club. Along with Boston, clubs would be located in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Brooklyn and St. Louis. Not surprisingly, those cities represented the eight largest metropolises in the United States.

The last order of business was a name for the new circuit. With the U.S. celebrating it's one hundredth birthday in 1876, the circuit would be known as the Century League.

Season-by-season recaps from Figment League Baseball.

Biographical articles on Figment League Baseball personalities.

Team pages for Figment League Baseball

Articles about the Figment League Baseball teams.