Highlights From Diamond Mind March 2022

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, captains 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.

This month we’re visiting with Greg (GMLBFan) Scholz, creator of the legendary MicroBrew leagues.  Here’s what Greg had to say:

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

A: My name is Greg Scholz. I am 62 years old and live in western NY near Rochester. I recently retired after 33 years as a high school science teacher working for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). I worked in an alternative education setting primarily with economically disadvantaged students who struggled to learn in a traditional classroom. I’ve been married for 33 years and my wife and I have 2 children who still live in the area.

Baseball occupies much of my increased free time, both playing Diamond Mind and doing some independent research of my own. My primary area of interest is Negro Leagues players, and I spend hours going through digital newspaper articles in search of player information and scouting reports. I spend a fair amount of time at the gym, golf when the weather allows, and I’m a person who enjoys doing yard work. I guess after all the years of a very dynamic and sometimes chaotic workplace I’m enjoying a little more normalcy in my days.

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

A: I go way back. I remember the first advertisement for “The Winter Game” like it was yesterday. I saw it in the very first issue of Baseball Weekly (the Rickey Henderson cover) and I was hooked immediately. My first league was called “The Outlaw League” in the spring of 1991. The game has gone through several transformations since then, and I’ve played in leagues in most of them. Thankfully, it’s become a whole lot more affordable over the years, I think that very first league cost me several hundred dollars when they totaled up the special fax service and transaction fees!

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for your MicroBrew leagues?

A: I’m originally from Milwaukee and grew up a Brewers fan. I wanted to run a league that featured only Milwaukee Brewers players, and I felt like I needed a “hook” to get people interested in the idea. I started playing around with the idea of building player 6-packs that used the beer brand as a theme and it took off from there. My main goal was to create a league where some different players would be featured instead of the same “value” players that seemed to show up in every standard league. The leagues have expanded beyond Milwaukee and have included themes from beers all over the USA and Canada as well. The leagues are very graphics heavy, I think that’s a carryover from that first advertisement in Baseball Weekly. I wanted something that would generate a sense of excitement when the player packs were revealed and help breathe some life into the league.

Q: What has been your favorite of the MicroBrew leagues?

A: I’ve only had one team make it to the World Series in these leagues, so I think it would be the Bob Uecker MicroBrew League. It was a special league to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Brewer franchise in Milwaukee. A pair of 83-win teams ended up in the World Series, and it went 7 games before the winner (not my team) was crowned. Very exciting to play game 6 of that series live. I’ve enjoyed playing in all the leagues, it’s a lot of fun to watch the teams evolve over the course of the season and see which player packs end up making the playoffs.

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

A: I think the most important thing is to get organized and have a clear idea of what it is you want to do. Learning how to work with the player pool is important, it will save a lot of rule editing if you can eliminate the players who don’t fit your criteria.  The first MicroBrew League took a while to fill, so
don’t get discouraged if your idea doesn’t take off right away. I think if you have a creative idea and stick with it, owners will eventually discover your league as there are many different ways to play and enjoy DMO.

Start a League of Your Own

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