NASBL Hall of Fame Class of 2015

For the 3rd time in NASBL HOF history, the NASBL Writers Association honor no less than three league legends.


Manny Ramirez, who spent his entire NASBL career under the tutelage of Outlaw Josey Wales owner Mark Hildbrandt, retired in the top 10 all-time in virtually every offensive category. Manny also earned the Tastes Great MVP award in both 2005 and 2009. One of the most feared NASBL sluggers of all time, Manny vaulted into the Hall with 93.75% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.


Vladimir Guerrero, a hitting machine who spent 12 of his 14 NASBL seasons with Johnny Miller's Georgia Road Kill, finished his career 4th all time in hits, and top-10 in all the Triple Crown categories. The athletic Guerrero also retired among the top 20 in triples and doubles, and for many years carried one of the most feared right-field rifles in the game. Vlad earned 87.5% of the vote in his first year on the ballot.


It is said of Ken Griffey Jr that “75% of the earth's surface is covered by water. The rest is covered by Ken Griffey Jr in center field.” When he wasn't climbing walls and pulling back homerun balls, Junior was busy sending baseballs over those same walls. KGJ finished his career 11th all time in homeruns, and 7th in at-bats per homerun. Like 2012 inductee Barry Bonds, Griffey played for Red Robbins and the Dallas Fort Worth Spurs each year of his career. Junior earned induction with 81.25% of the vote in his 2nd year of eligibility.

 

 

NASBL Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Greg Maddux, a two-time Cy Young Award winner for the Georgia Roadkill, is 4th all time with 167 NASBL wins and in the top 20 all time in career ERA, strikeouts, innings, shutouts, and complete games.  His 23-win season for the Roadkill in 2001 is the 3rd highest single-season total ever as of this writing, and his 2.62 ERA in 1998 was the 18th best ever for an NASBL starter.
 
In his 2nd year of eligibility, Maddux earned 81.25% of the votes.

 

 

NASBL Hall of Fame Class of 2013

The famously well-guarded gates of the NASBL Hall of Fame opened briefly in 2013 to a man bearing an unmatched 5 NASBL Cy Young awards and an undeniable “Admit One” ticket.
6’10” power pitcher Randy “Big Unit” Johnson punched his HOF ticket in no small part due to his ability to consistently punch out NASBL hitters. On his way to accumulating a league record 3156 strikeouts (800 more than 2nd place K-artist / fellow HOF’er Pedro Martinez,) Unit posted each of the 5 highest single-season strikeout totals ever recorded.
Johnson also retired as the winningest pitcher in NASBL history, both for his career (189 Ws, and for a single season (27 in 2003.)
Completing his similarities to MLB’s Walter “Big Train” Johnson, Big Unit wasn’t just the most dominant and winningest pitcher of his era, he was also the most durable. Randy Johnson retired as the all-time leader in innings pitched (2783,) complete games (162) and shutouts (20.)

 

 

NASBL Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Barry Bonds:  A 5-time Less Filling MVP, Bonds was drafted out of Arizona State in 1986 by Dallas Fort Worth Spurs GM Red Robbins.  Bonds never wore another uniform, retiring as a Spur following the 2008 season.  Bonds hit an other-worldly .319/.480/.708 for his NASBL career.  His career OBA and SLG marks are all-time NASBL records, and his 1287 career walks remain an all-time record 3 years after his retirement.  Bonds is the only player ever to hit .400 in a full NASBL season (.402 in 2005.)  He is one of only 2 players ever to exceed a .500 OBA in a full season - and he has done it 3 times, including a record .603 mark in '05!  Twice he has slugged nearly .900, including a record .897 in 2002.  He holds the all-time single-season NASBL records for runs scored (186,) walks (256,) and homeruns (80,) setting all the marks in 2002.  Bonds was instrumental in making DFW owner Red Robbins the first 2-time NASBL champion ever, earning rings in 2002 and 2007.

 

Mike Piazza:  A member of Bill Anderson's Pocono Woodsmen (now Chin Music) squad for the largest and best parts of his storied career, Mike Piazza burst onto the scene with a Rookie of the Year award in 1994.  In 1998, he won the MVP award on the strength of perhaps the greatest offensive season ever by an NASBL catcher, a .366/51/131 mark for the ages.  Piazza compiled a .298/.365/.571 career slash line, the best ever by a catcher.  He drove in nearly 1000 runs (977), also a league record for catchers.  Piazza was the driving force behind owner Bill Anderson's 1998 NASBL World Championship.

 

Pedro Martinez:  The second member of Bill Anderson's Pocono Chin Music to gain election to the NASBL Hall of Fame this year, Pedro Martinez, was as strong on the mound as fellow battery-mate Mike Piazza was at the plate.  Pedro's 3.66 career ERA is 2nd only to fellow HOF'er Kevin Brown's 3.27 mark.  A noted strikeout artist, Martinez finished his career with 2,319 K's - 2nd only to NJT's Randy Johnson.  Pedro was twice voted Less Filling Cy Young, in 1998 and 2001.  Pedro's 1998 season stands as one of the all-time greats:  his 6 shutouts and 5.81 hits/9ip that season have stood for over a decade as single-season records, and his .880 winning percentage that season (22-3) stood for 8 years before being eclipsed by GRK's Roger Clemens in 2006 (23-2.)  Like his teammate Mike Piazza and owner Bill Anderson, Pedro Martinez wears a 1998 NASBL World Series ring.

 

 

 

 

NASBL Hall of Fame Class of 2008

Kevin Brown, starting pitcher:  The top vote getter in the election, with 14 of 16 votes (87.5%), Brown brings a copious resume to the Hall.  Over the course of 8 NASBL seasons, Brown posted by far the lowest career ERA the league has ever seen.  His 3.27 career mark is nearly half a run lower than the 3.65 career ERA of the current 2nd place holder in this vital benchmark, Pedro Martinez.  Brown's career winning percentage of .663 is the 2nd highest in league history, trailing only Kerry Wood's .691 mark.  Brown was one of the least hittable pitchers in NASBL history, as his 8.48 hits / 9ip rate (trailing only K-Wood, Pedro, Randy Johnson, and Johan Santana) attests.  In addition, Brown's power sinker helped make him the only starter in NASBL history to allow less than 1 homerun per 9 innings.  Kevin twice won the Cy Young Award (1999-2000), and was a dominant pitcher in several other seasons.  In the words of NJT owner John Moscariello, "Brown put together 4 top-five pitcher seasons (98, 99, 00, 01) and 2 very good ones (02, 04) and was a two-time 20-game winner."
Juan Gonzalez, outfielder:  The only hitter to gain election to the Hall this year, Juan-Gone earned 13 of 16 votes (81.25%).  A two-time NASBL MVP (1994 and 1999), Gonzalez owns the highest career batting average in league history, an amazing .328.  He also holds the 2nd highest career slugging percentage at .645, a number that trails only the astounding .707 career slugging mark of DFW's Barry Bonds.  Juan-Gone is one of only 5 NASBL hitters to compile a career OPS of over 1.000 - the others are Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Pujols.  In 1999, Gonzalez drove in an astounding 182 runs, a record that stands to this day.
Brendan Conrad, owner / commissioner:  One of the most respected, hard-working, and influential NASBL members in league history, Brendan did the NASBL the honor of delivering the keynote speech for the opening of the NASBL Hall of Fame:

"Wow, I am honored! I'll try my best to reminisce about my NASBL days... here we go:

I was first introduced to Strat-O-Matic in 1995 by my college roommate. I was asked to take over a team full of veterans including Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and Paul Molitor. I learned many valuable lessons about Strat the hard way (bad trades, awful draft picks, ethics, etc.) and quickly ran that team into the ground. I remember my first ever draft pick (Brant Brown, second round) and was upset when the guy before me drafted Bill Mueller.

I left that league after two long seasons and my roommate graduating, and was left without a Strat-O-Matic home. During the 1997 season, I had searched for Strat leagues on the Internet and found a league called the North American Strat-O-Matic league run by Mark Hildebrant. I contacted him via email and inquired about any league openings. I was impressed with the amount of information Mark had made available on his league Web site. NASBL was a league that was rich in tradition and had many dedicated, intellegent, and Strat-savvy owners.

Mark informed me that a manager had left mid-season, and that I could take over a club for the last two blocks. After the conclusion of the 97 season, I renamed the team the Canyon Country Cannons, gutted the roster, and looked towards the draft to start rebuilding my team. My first few picks Scott Rolen, Neifi Perez, and Damion Easley gave me some hope that I could at least be competitive during the 98 season, and establish a young player base from which I could rebuild. Little did I know that I would end the following year with the worst record in the league!

After another tough Strat-O-Matic season, and honing my programming skills while in college, I had approached Mark about taking over some Web site duties for the league. Mark and I had communicated frequently and over time, and asked if I would take over the league as commissioner while he would remain a manager and focus more of his time with his family. I was happy he asked and vowed that I would keep NASBL moving forward and making it a league that everyone could be proud of.

I converted most Mark's information over to NASBL.com and introduced more interactive items on the site, including a newsletter posting where managers could post updates about their team. Other annual items were introduced over time such as the Draft pages, the All-Star game, and NASBL awards voting. This was a great experience for me because I could use the site to develop my Web programming skills and use the NASBL managers as my guinea pigs... I mean quality assurance specialists. I got to know my fellow managers quickly and even worked with Frank Pennylegion to develop a Web site for his business, Seattle Tickets. After I graduated from college, I used the sites I built for NASBL and Seattle Tickets on my resume and discussed the sites in interviews. I found a job in Los Angeles as a Web developer after specifically talking to a company about how I kept statistics from my Strat-O-Matic Baseball league in a database.

NASBL.com began to attract some attention from other managers who were interested in joining our league. After speaking with other NASBL veterans, expansion became a reality and we added two new franchises to the league. We also reorganized the conferences, creating 4 divisions while keeping the Tastes Great and Less Filling conferences in-tact. I was also contacted by author Bob Temple, who was writing a book about fantasy Baseball on the Internet. He asked permission to use a screen shot of the site and include a reference to it in his upcoming book, "Teach Yourself e-Baseball Today." The book was published in 2000, and there was NASBL.com featured in a short section about fantasy Baseball leagues online.

After a three-year rebuilding plan, I enjoyed my first success during the 2000 season. Prior to the season, I made several trades including a deal with the Georgia Roadkill that brought Jason Giambi to Canyon Country. The Cannons ended up tied for first place in the Less Filling West with the Eagle River Ptarmigans. I won the playoff game, taking my first division title. The steroid era was good for the Cannons, as several players became the faces of the franchise, including Giambi,  Rafael Palmeiro, and Javy Lopez.

Success continued to follow CCC, as we made a wild card appearance in 2001, an eight-games-over-five-hundred last place finish in 2002, and our second division title in 2003. The 2003 NASBL World Series featured the powerhouse New Jersey Trash Heap and their league-best 111 wins. Alex Rodriguez's 53 home runs and 150 RBI and Randy Johnson's 27 wins created a lopsided matchup on paper. New Jersey quickly ran out in front three games to none and the Cannons were demoralized. At that point, the team took a "one game at a time" approach, and were loose after realizing how fortunate enough they were to just be in the series. The relaxed mentality proved to be the difference as the Cannons came back to win the series 4-3, bringing the NASBL title to Canyon Country for the first time.

Two more division title banners were hung in The Battlefield in Canyon Country after the 2004 and 2006 seasons. However, life took a turn in 2005 when my son was born. NASBL could no longer be one of my top prirorities and, during the 2006 season, I felt that if I couldn't give my all to NASBL and it's fantastic group of managers, then it was time to step down. We are now preparing for the birth of our second child, another boy, in March of this year. I'll be sure to dig up my Cannons infant onesie for the little guy.

I still look back at many fond memories (and heated Baseball and league discussions) during my ten years in the league and do miss it. I enjoyed just about every aspect of the league, from trading, researching prospects and players for our drafts (I still have my old NASBL draft prep spreadsheets somewhere), playing the games, writing code for the site, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new version of the game in the mail. Above all else, what I miss most is the interactions with the NASBL managers. While I didn't get to know everyone as much as I could have, the relationships I did have were something I'll cherish forever. The league was fun for me because NASBL has the most knowlegeable and competitive Strat players, and the league is deep in tradition and fair play.

I'm honored that you all chose me as part of the inaugural NASBL Hall of Fame class, but more honored that you all allowed me to serve as your league commissioner and as a fellow Strat-O-Matic player.

Thanks!

--Brendan"