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Old 01-08-2016, 12:44 AM   #1
CivicEvo
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The International Baseball Federation (FIFA Style World)

Intro Disclaimer: I've never done one of these, though I've always wanted to. I've been playing OOTP for five years now with various scenarios and historical simulations, but never had the time or patience to start a project like this until 2014. In 2014, after being inspired by both the World Cup and dward's incredible World of Baseball (which I still read every few months to keep motivation high) I made my first effort to create an entirely fictional FIFA-like world, with leagues for every country and so forth. The project was way too big and after a few months, I put it aside. It just wasn't fun anymore.

This year, I was refreshed, and within OOTP '16, I decided to start small. Very small. One league, the United States Baseball League, with four teams (New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago). From there, it grows. I have a system and a process that I think works - I'll go into further detail within this thread as we move forward.

One thing that is worth saying before the "backstory" gets underway: as of now, I am simulating the fourth year (2003, world begins in 2000) of this fictional world. The USABL added a fifth team (Philadelphia) as of 2001. Further details will be shared as I move through the backstory.

The end goal, of course, is to accomplish that FIFA-type world. But it will happen organically, new leagues will appear over time - once countries have enough homegrown talent. Homegrown talent will have variance depending on international tournaments, based exactly off of the FIFA model (essentially, I'm not only going to steal the World Cup but the Gold Cup etc.).

I do not anticipate this being much of a player-based dynasty. Of course, along the way, I plan to profile some key players, but the general plan is to make this a business story. A story of how an initial four team league with a salary cap of $25,000 in 2000 becomes a world empire (or something) of baseball.

More coming soon.

(One more note: I am not nearly as proficient with graphics/logos and the like as many other of the great dynasties here. I have them, via Justafan's software (amazing!), but they aren't good, so when I post the screenshots, I apologize for that - though that's my embarrassment! :P)

EDIT: To continue my embarrassment, I just realized I misspelled "Worldwide" in the title! Is there a way to edit that, that I am missing? Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2016, 12:37 AM   #2
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(DISCLAIMER: In real life, there'd obviously be a ton more time, money, and bottlenecks to this story. But this isn't real life, so this is the theoretical background of the International Baseball Federation)

July 14, 1999
Boston, Massachusetts

It's one day after the 1999 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. After an emotional evening at Fenway Park, where Ted Williams made a public appearance, a meeting takes place in a hotel room in Copley Square. It's between representatives of Major League Baseball and two men pitching an idea.

The idea?

Wouldn't it be great to grow baseball to compete with FIFA? To make baseball a true global game?

Those two men were Tim Harper and Roy Fabian. The two men had crossed paths in the financial world in New York City, somewhat close to the New Canaan, CT home of Harper. Fabian was pretty much the polar opposite - understanding, hands-off, and from Washington State.

They went in and pitched their idea of what would be known as the International Baseball Federation (IBF), a project that would begin with the partnership with Major League Baseball and expand outward to all other countries.

The pitch was to leverage the popularity of baseball in North America and start expanding out to neighboring countries before expanding to Asia, South America, and eventually Europe and Africa.

Major League Baseball denied the pitch. Remember, this was before the World Baseball Classic. At the time, international baseball was not a priority. And so, Harper and Fabian went home - back to New York.

October 5, 1999
New York, New York

Tim Harper and Roy Fabian sit in a conference room at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, mere blocks from Times Square. There the plan is finalized to officially incorporate the International Baseball Federation as of January 1, 2000.

How they got from a hotel room in Boston to a hotel room in New York with enough funding to create an entire baseball federation isn't as complicated they would like you to believe. At the end of the day, these were hedge fund guys. And hedge fund guys have money. Sure, the IBF would not start with the power of MLB and the allure that would drive high end talent, but these guys were determined to make this work. With the majority of their plan completed before meeting with MLB in July of 1999, this meeting was about tying up loose ends.

The mission? Start with a low profile and build up year after year from there. They laid out a business plan:

Year 1 - Create and open the United States Baseball League
Year 10 - Launch neighboring North American Leagues; Host North American international and club tournaments
Year 25 - Launch leagues in Asia and South America; Launch the Baseball World Cup
Year 40 - Continue to expand with leagues in neighboring continents while launching first European League and Australian League
Year 75 - Expand into Africa

Now you might be thinking, there's no way that two astute businessmen could legitimately predict 75 years into the future. Of course, that would be correct. But they needed to show a grandiose plan to get other owners interested, to get sponsors interested, and to get talent interested. And so they did - after a fundraising tour of 60 days, the following was announced the first business day after New Year's in 2000.

January 3, 2000
UNITED STATES BASEBALL LEAGUE LAUNCHED

Tim Harper and Roy Fabian announce the launch and creation of the International Baseball Federation (IBF). The IBF will be the governing body for all national and international baseball competitions going forward.

The first league that has association to the IBF is the United States Baseball League (USA). Side Note: All league abbreviations will be their country abbreviation for ease. Within the USA league, four teams have been confirmed by the league as active members:

Chicago Baseball Club
Dallas Baseball Club
Los Angeles Baseball Club
New York Baseball Club

Tim Harper will own the Chicago club, and Roy Fabian will own the Los Angeles Club. Dallas and New York have also been purchased for approximately $100K each.

As the league looks to minimize risk, overhead, and expenses, each team will only play 40 games during the 2000 season. Each team will also have a salary cap of $25,000 during the 2000 season. A national television contract has been signed with Fox Sports to air the games nationally on delay (usually in the graveyard hours), as well as local television stations to air the team's games, and sponsorships have been signed with multiple national companies to start.

Major League Baseball has responded to this news by threatening to *ban* any player who defects into the IBF. At the current rate of salaries, this is obviously a non-issue, but for future players and international free agents, the rule applies. As such, the inaugural rosters are likely to be consisted of former minor league players who are now in other fields (contracting, teaching etc.) and can take off two months during the summer.

The IBF has worked out deals with the cities for the teams to play in shared ballparks, with construction to begin in the four "first" cities to open new ballparks in 2002.

With the sponsorship contracts and low salaries, net balances are expected to be between $100,000 and $150,000 for the season. IBF pledges to be transparent with the federation's finances to ensure accuracy and integrity.

The league is expected to open on July 1, 2000.

--

OK, all of that said, now the reporting begins. Next post will be the 2000 Summary and Review. I'm still simulating in the Year 2003 (probably will be done this week), so it's likely we'll join a more current IBF/USA League in the Year 2004.

Some player and team backgrounds to come as well.

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Old 01-15-2016, 06:01 PM   #3
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At this risk of being too wordy, the plan is to essentially show in screenshot form the standings and award winners for each season (2000-2003). I may add in a "story" post as well to explain the 2001 expansion, but I want to move this along so that I can share some views of the world that I've been working on. Things by country, by team, some player spotlights, and more that will be smaller looks now, but I think prove valuable as the league carries on into a much larger universe over time.

With that said, here is 2000!




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Old 01-16-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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September 1, 2000

After the success of the first year, the USA Baseball League has announced their first expansion, to Philadelphia, effective immediately for the start of the 2001 season. Philadelphia becomes the fifth team in the USA Baseball League as part of the first national league of the International Baseball Federation.

November 1, 2000

With the first international free agents accepted into the IBF via the USA Baseball League, the counts per country stand at the following as of the start of the 2001 season:

United States - 221
Mexico - 8
Canada - 5
Costa Rica - 1
Dominican Republic - 1
Japan - 1
Panama - 1
Curacao - 1

Given the ages of the international prospects, no non-United States players have made their debuts in an IBF Major League at this time.

January 1, 2001

News and notes for the upcoming 2001 season:

The salary cap has been raised 10% with the success of the league to $27,500.

With the addition of Philadelphia to the league, the schedule will now consist of 44 games, with each team playing all other teams 11 times. Each team will play various doubleheaders and have consecutive days off to accommodate the schedule.

Opening Day remains and continues to be July 1st. The trading deadline has been moved back five days to August 5th.

2001 Fast Tracked Results In Next Post.

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Old 01-16-2016, 10:11 PM   #5
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2001 USA Baseball League Results




New York
wins their second consecutive title, this time defeating Los Angeles in a sweep, after a tiebreaker 45th game between LA and Chicago. Both teams were vying for their first post season appearance.

With the expansion team of Philadelphia, offense was way up - topped by Milo Hoover (C) - CHI winning his first MVP Award after a disappointing 2000 season.

The other awards showed some decent variation, with six newcomers named to the USA All-Star team (based at their position for the season). However, John Bauman (DAL), John Lee (DAL), and Reid Landry (NY) did repeat as All-Stars in the league's second season. More on them later.

Stay tuned for league updates through 2002, before we join the universe in real time.

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Old 01-17-2016, 09:59 PM   #6
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September 1, 2001

Revenues continues to go up, mostly due to the new Philadelphia team and the expansion to a 44 game season. As such, the USABL via the IBF as announced tentative plans to add a sixth team to the league as of 2004, San Francisco. This will be dependent on growth during the 2002 season.

November 1, 2001

An update on the universe/world after the second year of the IBF:

United States - 238
Mexico - 15
Canada - 13
Costa Rica - 1
Dominican Republic - 1
Japan - 1
Panama - 1
Curacao - 1
Cuba - 1

Given the ages of the international prospects, no non-United States players have made their debuts in an IBF Major League at this time.

However, a relief pitcher, Felix Guerra (MEX), was added to Chicago's reserve roster during the 2001 off-season. He could be the first international IBF member to debut in the federation.

January 1, 2002

News and notes for the upcoming 2002 season:

The salary cap has once again been raised 10% to $30,250.

No other changes have been made to the league structure or rules.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:57 PM   #7
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2002 USA Baseball League Results





While setting a league record for team wins with 30, New York cements the first dynasty in USABL history with their third consecutive championship. Dallas, their opponent in the finals for the second time, was actually up 3-1 in the series before New York took three straight to bring home the championship.

Darby Duncan (3B - NY) took home his first MVP award after a fantastic campaign for New York, hitting 7 HR and driving in 19 runs in during the season.

In terms of league All-Stars, Mark Carr (1B - DAL) takes home his second All-Star award, as does Darby Duncan (3B - NY). John Lee (RF), now with Chicago, takes home his third consecutive All-Star award.

Next up, we join the league live after the 2003 regular season, as we head towards the fourth championship series. Here's how the standings look heading into the final weekend!

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Old 01-18-2016, 10:56 PM   #8
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I like the start. Keep it up!
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcloud4579 View Post
I like the start. Keep it up!
Thanks! Appreciate it a lot - this is my first rodeo so I know it's been a bit scatter-brained, but I expect that to smooth out over time.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:29 PM   #10
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Winter Break 2002

After a league wide vote among owners, the USABL has approved a sixth team to begin play during the 2004 season. This team is confirmed to be located in San Francisco. As part of the rules of the IBF, no expansion draft will be held. The team will be formally accepted into the league as of the day after the 2003 USA Championship is completed. They will also be permitted to participate in all baseball-related activities at that time, including both domestic and international free agent signings.

Player Nationality Update

An update on the universe/world after the third year of the IBF:

United States - 245
Mexico - 25
Canada - 22
Costa Rica - 2
Dominican Republic - 2
Japan - 1
Panama - 1
Curacao - 1
Cuba - 1
Sint Maarten - 1
Trinidad & Tobago - 1

There are now 11 countries represented within the IBF at large, with the United States, Mexico, and Canada making up the bulk of that population. All players are from North America except for Kyoji Rin, a 19 year old shortstop from Japan. He is currently in the Dallas International Complex.

We mentioned last year that a relief pitcher, Felix Guerra (MEX), was added to Chicago's reserve roster during the 2001 off-season. He did not make his debut during the 2002 season and remains the only non-American player on an active or reserve roster.

The owners do have an expectation that opening up a new team could allow for a quicker expansion of countries represented on active rosters, something they endorse as it could both grow the game and the IBF at large.

News and notes for the (in process) 2003 season:


The salary cap has once again been raised 10% to $33,275. The league intends to keep this cap growth on a per year basis for the foreseeable future. They anticipate the new San Francisco team to be a boon for revenues that allows for such growth.
No other changes have been made to the league structure or rules.

Upcoming: The finale of the 2003 season and our first player spotlight!

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Old 01-22-2016, 12:18 AM   #11
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2003: The Final Series

With New York winning their final game against Dallas, there would be a deciding two game series with Chicago and Los Angeles to determine the championship series. If Chicago and Los Angeles split, there would be a three-way tie at first with 24-20 records. The USABL was prepared for all scenarios, but it ultimately ended with a Chicago sweep leading to the final standings below, and a series between the three-time champions and first-time playoff team Chicago for the 2003 Championship!



2003 USA Championship

vs.

Game 1



Game 2: Chicago Leads 1-0



Game 3: Series Tied 1-1



Game 4: Chicago Leads 2-1



Game 5: Chicago Leads 3-1



Chicago
defeats New York to win their first championship!



John Lee (RF) is this year's championship MVP. During the series, Lee hit a blistering .611 with 4 HR and 6 RBI. Lee's 2.039 OPS set a USABL record, as he led Chicago to their first championship. A three time All-Star in right field, this was Lee's second championship appearance, with his first one coming in the league's inaugural 2000 season when he was with Dallas.
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:39 AM   #12
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Reid Landry (USA)

I am hoping to create player spotlights after each update. Other updates that may appear over time could be team (both club and national) spotlights, overall position spotlights, and nation spotlights. What these essentially will be are drill-downs to learn a little bit more behind the main characters and places of this story. So without further adieu, let's meet our first player!



Name: Reid Landry
Position: Left Field
Number: 19
Club Team: New York
Date of Birth: April 30, 1976
City of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA



To put it bluntly, Reid Landry is a special player. The first overall pick in the 2000 Inaugural Draft, Landry has played with New York for his entire career. A two-time All-Star in LF (2000, 2001), Landry has propelled himself to super stardom within the IBF. To name a few accomplishments, he has led the USA League in hits three times (2000, 2001, 2003), RBI once (2000), runs once (2001), batting average twice (2001, 2003), and steals twice (2001, 2003). His career 8.7 WAR ranks first all-time, and he appears to be just entering his prime at the age of 27 at the time of this post. He's also been durable, missing just five games in his four year IBF career.

Awards:

USABL Position All-Star (LF):
2000, 2001
USABL Playoff Series MVP: 2000
USABL Championship Winner: 2000, 2001, 2002
USABL Player of the Week: 7/10/2000, 7/30/2001
USABL Player of the Month: July 2001

Salary:

2000: $387 (min)
2001: $730 (Arb-1)
2002: $950 (Arb-2)
2003: $1,420 (Arb-3)
TOTAL: $3,487

Complete Batting Stats:



Leaderboard Appearances:



There's little doubt Landry is on his way towards immortality in the IBF Hall of Fame, but with 10+ years to go in his career, there's certainly an expectation for him to be a major contributor in the federation for years to come.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:14 PM   #13
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2003 Awards and Early Offseason

Going forward, when I give general updates, any player that's been highlighted with a profile within this story will be bolded in red, just as a reminder that they are a key character in this universe. Nothing more than a reminder since profiles will likely become outdated quickly, and won't be updated as often especially as the league continues to grow.

First, Some News Out of Dallas



After a 17-27 season, their first under .500 in four seasons, the Dallas Club has dismissed GM James Wheeler and Manager Juan Mendez. Both men were with the Dallas club from the start, but were given no second opportunity and were dismissed from the club as they look to begin a new direction.

San Francisco Baseball Club



With the start of the 2003 Offseason, the San Francisco Baseball Club is officially an active member of the USA Baseball League of the International Baseball Federation. As of today, San Francisco is permitted to make signings, trades, and additions to their organization.

The USABL will not be holding an expansion draft, leading many to think San Francisco will struggle mightily in their first season in the league.

2003 Award Winners

Most Valuable Player
Milo Hoover
- C - New York
.294/.356/.601, 153 AB, 13 HR, 0 SB, 173 wRC+, 2.3 WAR

Pitcher of the Year
Buddy Humphrey
- SP - Los Angeles
9 W - 2 L, 1.96 ERA, 73.1 IP, 14 BB, 52 K, 1.8 WAR

Reliever of the Year
Jim Smith
- RP - New York
0 W - 2 L, 2.30 ERA, 27.1 IP, 7 BB, 33 K, 0.9 WAR

Rookie of the Year

Tonito Caguioa
- CF - Dallas
.308/.357/.385, 65 AB, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 0.3 WAR

All-Stars
Pitcher: Buddy Humphrey - Los Angeles (1st)
Catcher: Milo Hoover - New York (2nd)
First Base: Liam Chattan - Los Angeles (2nd)
Second Base: Terry Crowley - New York (1st)
Third Base: Darby Duncan - Philadelphia (3rd)
Shortstop: Josh Hampton - Chicago (1st)
Left Field: Reid Landry - New York (3rd)
Center Field: Pat Ingram - New York (2nd)
Right Field: John Lee - Chicago (4th)

John Lee
is now the only player to win an All-Star award for all four seasons.

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Old 01-23-2016, 11:31 PM   #14
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Milo Hoover (USA)



Name: Milo Hoover
Position: Catcher
Number: 8
Club Team: New York (2002-Present), Chicago (2000-2001)
Date of Birth: November 4, 1971
City of Birth: Kearns, Utah, United States



Milo Hoover has had a very inconsistent career, but when he has "on" years, my goodness is he good. With two MVP Awards (2001, 2003) to his name, Hoover has established himself as a top flight catcher within the IBF. Initially drafted second overall in the 2000 Inaugural Draft by Chicago, Hoover spent two seasons with the team before being moved in a blockbuster deal to New York for a package of Luis Fernandez, Greg Martin, and Tim Phillips. Hoover won his first and only championship with New York in 2002, but made a second appearance with NY again in 2003. His 7.4 career WAR ranks second all time in the IBF, behind teammate Reid Landry.

Awards:

USABL Season MVP: 2001, 2003
USABL Position All-Star (C):
2001, 2003
USABL Championship Winner: 2002
USABL Player of the Week: 7/28/2003

Salary:

2000: $2,120
2001: $2,320
2002: $2,320
2003: $2,320
TOTAL: $9,080

Note: Hoover is under contract through 2006 with New York after signing a 7 year extension right after he was drafted by Chicago. He will make $2,320 for the remaining life of the extension annually.

Complete Batting Stats:



Leaderboard Appearances:


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Old 01-25-2016, 09:45 AM   #15
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I love this!
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Old 01-27-2016, 11:27 PM   #16
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2003 Offseason Report

UNITED STATES BASEBALL LEAGUE

Expansion and Rule Changes

With San Francisco now in the fold, the USABL is looking ahead towards their next expansion. This is expected to occur in time for the 2006 season. An investment group out of Houston, TX has expressed interest in joining the league. While nothing is confirmed, the league does seem to be aiming to proceed with this.

For the 2004 season, the following changes will be made:

A 50 game schedule will be implemented, a 6 game increase over the previous 44 game schedule. Additionally, service time per season has increased to 65 days with the season running from July 1st through September 7th.

The salary cap again increased by 10%, with the upper limit at $36,602 for the 2004 season.

Staff Changes

In Dallas, rookie GM Tim Henry was signed to take over the reigns for the club after a disappointing 2003 season. His first move was hiring a manager, Fred Jordan, a former USABL player from 2001-2002 for Philadelphia. Jordan, a third baseman from Florida, finished his career with 0.1 WAR in just 39 games, hitting .213.

Jordan is also the first former IBF player to become a manager in his post-playing career.

In San Francisco, Angelo Sanchez was hired as the team's first General Manager. Sanchez was previously the GM of Philadelphia, lasting only one year (2002), compiling a 16-28 record overall. Rookie manager Jason Freitag takes over the reigns.

Retirees

No big retirements this season, as only four players left the league. Most notably here was the exit of 24 year old Burt Francis, who decided to leave the league after donating his kidney to his sister.

Top 10 Contracts Signed

Free Agent: Nolan Griffin (SP - DAL): 4 Years, $16,480
Extension: Reid Landry (LF - NY): 6 Years, $14,240
Free Agent: Glenn Glendenning (2B - SF): 2 Years, $7,160
Free Agent: Tim Davis (RP - DAL): 3 Years, $7,140
Extension: Calvin Miller (3B - CHI): 4 Years, $6,460
Free Agent: Mark Carr (1B - SF): 2 Years, $6,240
Free Agent: Liam Chattan (1B - PHI): 4 Years, $5,980
Free Agent: John Taylor (RP - CHI): 3 Years, $4,780
Free Agent: Burton Young (RP - PHI): 3 Years, $4,620
Free Agent: Gary Bower (RP - SF): 2 Years, $3,640

Key Trades







Players By Country: January 2004

United States:
248
Canada:
37
Mexico:
32
Cuba: 3
Costa Rica: 2
Dominican Republic: 2
Japan: 2
Curacao: 1
Panama: 1
Trinidad & Tobago: 1
Sint Maarten: 1
Puerto Rico: 1

During the 2003 off-season, the league introduced 25 eligible international free agents for signing into the teams' development systems. All but two were from Mexico and Canada, with the other two coming from Japan and Cuba.

The IBF is satisfied with the overall growth of the universe, and is starting to outline plans for a Canada Baseball League (CANBL) and a Mexico Baseball League (MEXBL), likely to open up within the next 7-8 years.

Now... onto the 2004 season!


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Old 01-28-2016, 12:22 AM   #17
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John Lee (USA)



Name: John Lee
Position: Right Field
Number: 13
Club Team: Chicago (2002-Present), Dallas (2000-2001)
Date of Birth: May 6, 1973
City of Birth: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA



Now four years into his IBF career, John Lee is establishing himself as a true superstar. However, he never seems the get the credit he deserves! A four-time league All-Star in Right Field, and the 2003 USABL Championship MVP, Lee has proven that he is here to stay. The 6th overall pick in the 2000 Inaugural Draft by Dallas, Lee signed a four year contract with Chicago after the 2001 season with the hopes of turning their franchise around. He did just that, leading Chicago to the 2003 USABL Championship. He has twice led the USABL in OPS (2002, 2003), once in runs (2002), and once in doubles (2003). His career 7.2 WAR ranks third all-time, and at 31 years old, he still has plenty of time to touch up his Hall Of Fame resume.

Awards:

USABL Position All-Star (RF):
2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
USABL Playoff Series MVP: 2003
USABL Championship Winner: 2003
USABL Player of the Week: 8/7/2000, 7/15/2002, 8/5/2002
USABL Player of the Month: July 2001

Salary:

2000: $588
2001: $800
2002: $920 (first year of 4-Year Chicago contract)
2003: $1,220
TOTAL: $3,528

Complete Batting Stats:



Leaderboard Appearances:



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Old 01-28-2016, 12:40 AM   #18
CivicEvo
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Originally Posted by jwterps View Post
I love this!
Thank you! Appreciate this a lot!
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:20 AM   #19
jollyschwa
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This is a great idea. It'll be interesting to see how it grows. At first I didn't like the lack of team names, but it grew on me and I like the use of flags for logos and basing the uniforms of them.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jollyschwa View Post
This is a great idea. It'll be interesting to see how it grows. At first I didn't like the lack of team names, but it grew on me and I like the use of flags for logos and basing the uniforms of them.
Thanks! Admittedly, creativity is where I lack a real skill set - so I decided from a team standpoint to let the places themselves stand out as what's recognizable, not a nickname (like Cubs, Red Sox etc.). It's a little FIFA-esque, but I think it works given the universe in general. It's also where the flag idea came from - though once we leave North America, this will become more difficult - but that's for later on.

Like you, I'm excited to see where this goes. I have a general plan in terms of when to expand leagues and create international teams etc., but in general the idea is to adapt to what OOTP gives me. And since I'm playing in commish mode only, whatever will be will truly be.
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