Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Meet the Six Packs

In 1988 the CFCL added two new owners.  One really good one.  One really . . . eh.  We are about to meet the really good one.  Kelly Barone, owner of the Six Packs, joined in 1988 and for the next 16 seasons became one of the backbones of the league that helped shape us and keep us on course.

Over the course of the year you will see snippets of our drafts and you may catch some of the back and forth between the Six Packs and Ruffins, but the video won't do it justice.  Many of the highlights for Kelly's sixteen years at the draft was the banter he and The Professor shared.

As you will see below in the Q&A, Kelly is still with the CFCL in the Constitution.  He also was the inspiration for a few draft day activities that will be covered in upcoming posts.  Suffice to say, for sixteen years Kelly was an influential owner of the CFCL, providing guidance, humor, voice of reason and a hammer from time to time.  In 1999 the Six Packs captured the only CFCL title.  When Kelly resigned in 2003, he left with seven money place finishes and a ton of memories.

It's time to Meet the Six Packs.

You joined the league in its 5th season (1988). How did that come about?
Dave Mahlan and I met in an English class at UIC. We had a assignment where we had to "explain" how to do something by writing it out in terms of instructions. Dave and I paired up in a review session and his assignment was on running a fantasy baseball league. We started talking about it and he said there was an opening, and I said I was interested.
Aside from the Copperfields, you are still the longest tenured former CFCL owner having participated for sixteen years. What do you remember about your time in the CFCL?
It was truly a challenging league, highly competitive. You had to know what you were doing and be committed or you'd flounder. I remember being in the league before the internet changed everything. Calling in transactions to someone's voicemail. Reading the newspaper as a main source of information. Waiting for weekly standings to come in the mail. It's a world that doesnt exist anymore.
In 30 years you are one of only 12 people to win the CFCL. Does that hold any significance for you?
I have played alot of fantasy baseball, football and basketball over the years. Still playing the latter two. I have been in some kind of league every year since 1988. So that's a lot of not winning. The CFCL and a football championship (in a league that is long disbanded) were my only two. A very close call in basketball two years ago, two Dwight Howard one-game suspensions the last month basically put me 4th instead of 1st. For a few years I kept the standings and team stats framed from the CFCL team that won. I think I rostered something like 30 pitchers that year. I was proud of cobbling it together like that. I remember a previous season where I determined I had lost the championship beause I had cut Chico Walker for Jose Offerman, back before reserve lists. The decisions can turn out to be crazy in the way they play out.
Since the CFCL is the Cub Fan Club League and you are most decidedly a White Sox fan, did you ever have any reluctance participating in a league celebrating the team from the other side of town?
No, the people were great and it was all in good fun.
How does it feel knowing that 10 years after you left, your mark is still being felt – specifically the Prize Money Escalator Clause? That was your inspiration.
The reason I asked for that clause was I thought we had to start rewarding people more for what it took to win, plus as the league matured I figured we could afford it.
What have you been up to for the past ten years?
Raising my family, focusing on career. I left due to some other issues, but truth these days is I don't think I could do the league justice, devote the time needed to be successful.
Do you still participate in fantasy sporting leagues?
Yep, as I said, football and basektball. Lots of near misses, keep hoping for another title.

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