The Scott White Dynasty League takes fantasy baseball to a different level. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer at CBS, set up this 24-team dynasty in 2013, and without a doubt, it has transformed my enjoyment of the pastime.
The league features some of the most respected names in fantasy baseball analysis, including Nando di Fino, Al Melchior, Chris Welsh, Frank Stampfl, Heath Cummings, and Chris Towers, to name just a handful. There is no cash prize, no trophy, just the kudos that comes with beating such an illustrious lineup.
Despite many years of playing fantasy baseball, I was completely outclassed in Year one. It was my first dynasty auction, and I was way too timid when the prices far exceeded my values. There is no point in having the most money for the second half of an auction if there is nowhere to spend it.
Dustin Pedroia was my most expensive purchase, followed by Ike Davis, Doug Fister and Dustin Ackley. Oh, how I rated Ackley back then.
The Ike Davis acquisition still hurts. It was a toss-up between 25-year-old Davis coming off a 32-homer season or 22-year-old Freddie Freeman coming off a 23-homer year. I could have had Freeman on my roster for the next several seasons.
My team finished a lowly 22nd out of 24, but fellow non-expert participant, Scott Maurer, or “The Other Scott” as he is known, smashed it in Year one with victory over Stats Keeper (Dean Peterson).
In 2014, my transformation from bottom dweller to second place in the regular season was remarkable, although I still finished two games behind Michael Hurcomb’s dominant 18-2. My naivety showed again as I lacked the killer instinct to “sell the farm” and lost in the first round of the playoffs while Brian Flood threw everything at securing the championship. If it wasn’t nailed down, he traded it. And although his roster has never quite recovered, his team remains the aptly named ’14 Champs after the championship win over Brady Gardiner.
The Wallet Inspectors (Schisselman/Wagner) were the best team in 2015 with a 16-4 regular season record and deserved the championship. In the final, they beat Brent S Gambill who had the second-best record. I got to the playoffs and lost in the first round again. My team was now renamed “Tramps and the playoff chokers.”
I finished in fifth place during the 2016 regular season and even won my first playoff game. It was an incredible 652-612 win over Scott White’s Get Off My Lawn. Incredible because the highest score in any of the other three playoff ties was 560. Scott was exceptionally unlucky not to go further although the two best teams in the regular season competed for the championship again, with Jameson Fleming securing an emphatic win over the Wallet Inspectors.
And then, in 2017, the championship was mine. I was in a three-way tie for first place with a 15-5 record, and despite not having the best roster, I eased through both of the two-week playoffs to reach the final. Once there, it was one of those fixtures where everything went right for me and nothing clicked for Booger Swamp. The 200+ point winning margin was flattering.
You may have noticed that Scott White had thus far failed to even appear in the championship game. That was all to change with three years of dominance.
In 2018, I renamed the team “European Franchise” and partnered up with my long-term fantasy baseball nemesis, David Runciman. Although also based in the UK, David is in Orkney off the north coast of Scotland, about as far away from me as you can get without leaving the UK. We met up in 2022 – it was a 13-hour drive!
The dynamic is great. David’s in-season management is second to none, and it gives a backup should the auction ever fall on a day when I’m not available.
I also remember sitting in Toulouse airport trying to swing a trade in the hour before lineups locked. Having David as a partner meant I could board the flight with the knowledge that our impending new addition would be on the active roster and we wouldn’t be looking at an illegal lineup for the week.
Anyway, getting back to 2018. Tanner Tedeschi had the best regular season record and got to the championship game but lost to Scott White. The Scott White dynasty could finally begin.
In a bizarre move, which continues to confuse me today, three teams changed their name: Al Melchior’s Salad Days, Al Melchior’s Salad Dayz, and Al Melchior’s Salad Daze, and none of them were Al Melchior’s team.
In 2019, Scott White and Nando di Fino finished top of the league with 16-4 records. We were fourth in the regular season and got to the championship game but Scott was too strong and became the first person to retain their title.
The shortened Covid-hit 2020 was a bad year for me personally with a tragedy that I am still struggling to come to terms with. Fantasy baseball seemed even less important.
Scott White adapted to the shortened schedule and took the title by just 21 points in the final against The Wallet Inspectors.
In 2021, we were back with a vengeance and in a “Flags fly forever” strategy, we broke the regular-season record by going 19-1. In the end, however, we fell at the semi-final stage and watched the Fleming/D’Addio pairing (K’LL ‘EM) lose out to Hot Talent Lava (Brady Gardiner) who became the league’s seventh different champion in nine years.
Despite seeing the slim pickings of affordable salaries that remained on our roster ahead of the 2022 auction, I didn’t rue selling; as they say “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
You can follow our 2022 pre-auction thought process.