Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet The Drewers

OK, so you might look at the title of the post and say "What or who are the Drewers?"  Well a couple of posts ago I pointed out that while I thought our little CFCL hitting 30 years was the most unique thing in the world, turns out it ain't that big a deal.  There are a handful of leagues celebrating 30 years or 25+, which surprised me.

A few of those leagues have agreed to play along with our Q&A format.  One such league is the Altered States League.  This and their sister league (the Eternal Squabblers League who we will meet next week) could very well be the CFCL's doppelganger.  We'll explore that more in a future post.

Drew Gallagher, original ASL member and owner of the Drewers, graciously agreed to help us out this week.  He and his best friend (sound familiar to any league you know) Chris Malinowski, have been running the two leagues forever.  When I approached both of them for the Q&A, they readily agreed.  I then sent out the Qs for their As.  Here's the hilarious part.  THEY RETURNED THE As WITHIN FOUR MINUTES OF EACH OTHER!  Talk about competition!  Since Drew crossed the e-mail finish line first, he gets to lead off. 

He started the ASL back in 1985 at the age of 15!  Couldn't even drive himself to his first draft.  The Drewers have tasted the sweet nectar of Yoo-Hoo once back in 2000 and have three 2nd place finishes as well.

I can  honestly say one of the best parts of us celebrating the 30 years of the CFCL and doing this blog is the opportunity to connect with, not only former CFCL owners, but other league owners as well.  Drew and Chris are two of the good guys.  Amazingly entertaining, generous and just cool in general.  It's time to meet the Drewers.

Pirates of Phillies?
Phillies—When the leagues started in 1985 we were all primarily from the Reading, PA area and were about an hour from the Phillies and The Vet and had the Reading Phillies (the Double-A affiliate) in our proverbial backyard. I was actually a substitute batboy for the Reading Phillies for two seasons. I got to work the game when the big Phillies came to town for an exhibition and was booed by 3,000 people when I tried to wrestle a foul ball away from a small child who had been lowered over the fence by his father. I was 11. He got the ball. We also have some well-preserved videotape of a game when I, much older, caught a foul ball in the stands at an R-Phils’ game. We were on local TV and I caught it on the fly. The announcers were impressed. Chris would’ve been impressed too had he not been out buying me a funnel cake at the time and not making it onto local cable access TV, but I love him for that funnel cake. Kim Batiste homered on the next pitch.
How did you come up with the Altered States League as a name?
The Altered States League name was the brainchild of a couple of guys older than we were who were all probably in their late 20s at the time so they seemed ancient. The ASL is AL-only and its inception spawned the Eternal Squabblers League (the genesis of that name should be apparent to all rotisserie owners) which is an NL-only league and one that we started at the All-Star break in 1985. I was the youngest owner in the ASL at 15, but our ESL was 10 owners aged from 12 to 17. Only two of the 10 owners could drive to our first draft!
When did the league start?  How?
The birth story of the ASL would be better told by the founding fathers who was actually old enough to drink at its birth (though they don’t drink). It was started by a bunch of college friends who all went to the University of Maryland and then they were coupled with a bunch of sports writers at the Reading Eagle newspaper for a league of 12 owners. My father had to drive me to my first draft (I was 15 remember) and he served as auctioneer because he would’ve been bored to tears for six hours. I drafted Brook Jacoby and Pat Tabler for a buck each. My team sucked and I didn’t know what a closer was. I’m the only owner who has been in the league since its inception although one founding father left and then returned so both of us are still in the league at present.
What is the makeup of your league (age, tenure, etc.)?
We had one owner who worked for the AP and was going into an interview with a young Bill Clinton, but was nearly late for his interview because he was on the phone trying to make a trade. This was pre-cell phone era so he was bound by the landline phone. He did make the trade and the interview.
Our original ESL 10 owners have quite a varied present day. Chris is an engineer. I parlayed my English degree into a work-at-home insurance claims adjuster job with a company car. We have an ER doctor (The Menet Work), two owners that own their own businesses. Two teachers. One of our friends tried to make a go of the professional poker thing and is now homeless in Atlantic City. We’ve tried to track him down, but have had no luck. One has become a hermit. Seriously. Lives with his mother and never leaves the house. Another has been arrested four or five times for DUI and recently completed a stint in prison for same. I guess 7 out of 10 productive members of society isn’t too bad.
Any animosity toward Chris Malinowski for winning seven times and finishing 2nd four more in 18 years?
With regard to any resentment I have toward Chris and his dominance of both the ESL and ASL I refer you to the funnel cake purchase. You don’t forget something like that.
What categories do you use in ASL?
Oh, both the ESL and ASL are 4x4 leagues. We abhor change.
What’s the best story you can share from ASL history?
There are a great many tales to tell over a 30-year history, but I suppose the one I would offer is a cautionary tale—that being, don’t take yourself or fantasy baseball too seriously. The two guys who founded the ASL together were best friends. One was the other’s best man at his wedding. But due to some silly squabble over rotisserie (couldn’t even tell you which event or events it stemmed from) one quit the league (formed his own) and they went years without speaking to one another. To this day I believe that they hate each other and only talk if they happen to be at a funeral or wedding together. It’s very sad really. Chris is my best friend and if the price of that friendship is him winning every year and my teams sucking then so be it. Small price to pay.
Best team name we’ve ever had (comes from the ESL and owner Scott Menet) is The Menet Work. Born of the ‘80s obviously and probably lost on many who are unfamiliar with “Who Can It Be Now?”

1 comment:

  1. This is a brilliant bit of writing, thank you for sharing.