It turns out the Founder of Fantasy Sports is technically Dan Okrent in 1979/1980. Back then he called it Rotisserie League Baseball. The creation and growth of Rotisserie League Baseball and Fantasy Sports is documented in the ESPN Films series 30 for 30 under the episode Silly Little Game.
If you know anything about Rotisserie League Baseball, you know that it started out by having to read the newspaper and magazines to get the box scores and all the calculations were done by hand on ledgers. You had a commissioner that often did this for the entire league or each person in the league took turns doing each week. I remember the first time I read about Rotisserie League Baseball in the mid 1980’s I thought, that’s great, but who has time for that? I was 9 at the time.
While Dan’s and the founding fathers Rotisserie League Baseball created a way for hundreds of thousands of people to have a great time each baseball season, it was when the Internet came about and all the stats could be calculated automatically that millions of people started to flock to what had then changed to being called Fantasy Sports.
You can still see an ode to Rotisserie League Baseball when you see any mention to ROTO in relation to Fantasy Sports.
I’d like to personally thank Dan Okrent for gathering the first group and creating what is now known as Fantasy Sports. It’s one of the few things that keeps me and some of my fraternity brothers connected throughout the year.