Diamond Mind Highlights December 2021


Custom Leagues Kings

If you want to play in a tried-and-true format and create your team right now, standard leagues (Classic and SSG) are open to the public 24/7. But if you want to try something different, Custom Leagues – created by customers – are there in abundance.

There are franchise leagues, progression leagues, captain leagues, high and low salary cap leagues, rags to riches leagues, alphabet leagues, place of birth leagues, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Diamond Mind Online would not be the same if the Community did not include some of the most clever and prolific creators of Custom Leagues. We’ll be featuring one of these in this space each month, starting with the inimitable Ted (Naytj) Hershey, whose leagues are eagerly awaited and are always imaginative and challenging.

We asked Ted to answer some questions for us and here’s what he had to say:

Q: Tell us something about yourself: age, occupation, marital status, where you live, and interests (apart from DMO, of course).

A: 53 years old.  Lancaster, PA.  I work for Donnelley Financial Solutions (a fintech software and service provider).

Married with two adult sons.  My youngest son has down syndrome and still lives at home with us.  He is an avid baseball fan and we watch most of the Phillies games together.  Like his dad, he enjoys fantasy baseball and we play the “Baseball Classics” board game at least once per week.  He can understand and follow this – and creates the lineups for both teams.  We use photocopies of the lineup sheets from the 1971 Sports Illustrated baseball game to manage the scoring.

In addition to DMO, I enjoy golfing and reading novels.  With my older son, we enjoy backpacking and climbed 29 of the state highpoints.  King’s Peak in Utah was our favorite.

Q: When did you start playing DMO and how did it first come to your attention?

A: I played the old ESPN game, but only a few seasons.  I don’t recall how I found DMO, but I joined in 2011.

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your Custom League ideas?

A: Charles Wolfson.  In 2012, I started to join your custom leagues (Double Letter League, Presidents League, etc) where you introduced to me the concept of smaller player pools.  Prior to this, I was agonizing over large spreadsheets I created.  And I wasn’t very good.   I loved your leagues and joined most of them.  And the spreadsheets were smaller.

I was the commissioner of my first successful league in 2013.  It was called the “Franchise 162 League” where the last two digits of (3) seasons had to add up to exactly 162.  My Phillies lost in the World Series to rusnaan’s Pirates.  Since then, nearly all the leagues I join are based on limited player pools.  I enjoy creating leagues that become popular and familiar owners join in on the fun.  For many years baseballaholic and Deadpool have signed up for my leagues.  When Craig and Brian join, I know it’s a good one!

Q: What have been your favorite leagues?

A: I enjoy smaller player pools and usually, they’re based on single franchises.  Being forced to use specific years or other criteria allows you to find and use players you’ve never heard of or otherwise would never add to your team.  It also provides a great way to learn about other franchises.  I rarely take the Phillies these days.  I’m usually the last to choose a franchise and like the variety of the other teams anyhow.  When SSG was introduced, it made the limited player pool leagues all the better.

Q: Is there any advice you would give to people who haven’t created a league before, but would like to give it a try?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  The DMO community is a friendly one and there is always someone willing to offer advice or suggestions.  You can also post league ideas/concepts on the Custom Board before actually creating the league – to get feedback and consensus on the rules.  And feel free to directly reach out to me if you want to ask a question or kick around a new league concept.

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