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NYLISL History

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NYLISL History & Records
The roots of the New York Long Island Strat League date back to Archbishop Molloy High School in the early 1990s, when Jack Flynn, Chris Forster and Jason Varvaro started a league with other Stanners. Every day after classes were over, the dice were rolled and league games were played in Molloy's cafeteria. The Molloy leagues were very different then the NYLISL - no year to year player protection, no at-bats or innings pitched minimums and a highly volatile ownership group that changed constantly - sometimes month by month.
 
In 1994, Flynn, Forster and Varvaro graduated high school and went their separate ways. Flynn went to St. John's and met future league members Jason Boland and Tim Walsh in the office of the Torch - the official student newspaper of St. John's University. In 1996, a six-team "Redmen" league was formed that included Flynn, Boland and Walsh and would later include Jim Baumbach, who started taking classes at SJU the same year. Meanwhile, the three Molloy boys eventually reconnected and even put together a four-team side league with dragon slayer Noelyork Collo, using combination stock teams and an 80-game schedule.
 
By the time Flynn graduated from St. John's in 1998, he had connected high school friends and college friends through a mutual enjoyment of Strat-o-Matic. League mebership was still volatile from year to year until 2000, when a midseason decision to go to a keeper league format was approved. When fellow Stanner Joe Falzarano dropped out of the league for the first time that year, he was replaced by Baumbach's brother Kevin, who was a franchise owner until 2007.
 
League membership has maintained fairly constant over the NYLISL's eight seasons - Flynn, Forster, Varvaro, Boland and Baumbach has fielded a team every year. Walsh's Old School Brothers suspended operations for the 2004 season, when he moved down to Florida, and folded after the 2005 season. He returned in 2007 as the Gramercy Riffs. Falzarano returned to the league for a brief period before being permanently banned from the NYLISL in 2005. In 2006, the league expanded for the first time and brought in veteran Strat player Ed Price. The second wave of expansion came a year later, when Walsh and Sean O'Leary were each granted new franchises.
 
With eight fully established teams, the NYLISL has its largest membership in league history. Expansion has put on the backburner and the league has no plans to admit new members. Competition will be fierce enough as it is!
2000
Brahma Bulls 54 29 0.651 ---- 83
Bandits 50 34 0.595 4.5 84
Peaches* 22 20 0.524 na 42
Frills* 20 16 0.556 na 36
OSBrothers 37 37 0.500 12.5 74
Hitmen 34 39 0.466 15 73
Crackheads 26 45 0.366 22 71
Virus 28 51 0.354 24

79

 
*The Frills became the Peaches when the franchise replaced GMs midseason.
 
2000 highlights: The Brahma Bulls (now the Demons) set the NYLISL record for the most wins in a season. The decision was made late in the season to make the league a protected player league, officially giving birth to the NYLISL. Demons Owner/GM Jack Flynn has not stopped complaining about that decision to this day.
 
Round 1 of the Marillac Cup Championship Playoffs featured the Brahma Bulls vs. the Old School Brothers (run by Tim Walsh). The Brahma Bulls raced out to a 3-0 series lead and the Brothers stayed alive only on the strength of a disputed Ken Griffey, Jr. home run in extra innings in Game 4. (It was discovered sometime during Game 5 that Walsh read the card wrong and that the game-winning homer was actually a double, which would've left runners on second and third with one out.) Shockingly, the Brothers won the next two games and set the stage for a dramatic Game 7, which was won in the bottom of the 10th on a two-run Jeff Bagwell homer to clinch the series.
 
Meanwhile, the Bandits swept the Peaches in their semifinal matchup and finished the season with a 10-0 record against rookie GM Kevin Baumbach. Bandits take the Marillac Cup Championship in 6 games and Jack launched a 20 side from his backyard in Pearl River that is still in orbit.
 
 
2001
Crackheads 49 28 0.636 ------ 77
Hitmen 44 36 0.550 6.5 80
Brahma Bulls 43 41 0.512 9.5 84
Virus 42 42 0.500 10.5 84
OSBrothers 40 43 0.482 12 83
Bandits 38 46 0.452 14.5 84
Peaches 30 50 0.375 20.5 80
 
2001 highlights: Crackheads (now the Flesheaters) clinch home-field advantage with seven games left on the schedule and do not finish the regular season, depriving Jason Varavaro a chance at the NYLISL record for wins in a season. The Brahma Bulls become the only team to have a winning record in every year of NYLISL play - a record that still stands today. The Crackheads beat the Hitmen in the Marillac Cup Championship.
 
 
2002
Hitmen 51 33 0.607 ---- 84
Bandits 50 34 0.595 1 84
Crackheads 49 35 0.583 2 84
OSBrothers 45 39 0.536 6 84
Brahma Bulls 44 40 0.524 7 84
Virus 28 56 0.333 23 84
Peaches 27 57 0.321 24 84
 
2002 highlights: This season was notable for the tight races up and down the standings. The Bandits won 10 of their last 11 games but could not catch the mighty Hitmen for first place. The Brahma Bulls finished a game out of the playoffs, marking the first time the team would not make a trip to the post-season. The Baumbach brothers battled it out for who would get the first overall pick in the following year's draft. The Bandits beat the Crackheads in six games and the Hitmen took care of the Brothers in their semifinal matchup. Despite a 3-2 series lead, Mike Cameron (4 errors in 4 innings) and Trevor Hoffman (2 blown saves, 2 appearances) ruined the Bandits' chance to become the league's first repeat champion and the Hitmen win in 7. Hoffman and Cameron were released for life by the Bandits.
 
2003
Bandits 53 29 0.646 --- --- 82
Crackheads 43 32 0.573 6.5 6.5 75
Hitmen 44 35 0.557 7.5 --- 79
Heartbreakers 44 38 0.537 9 9 82
Lightning 43 39 0.524 10 2.5 82
Virus 36 42 0.462 15 7.5 78
OSBrothers 32 46 0.410 19 11.5 78
Midville 23 57 0.288 29 29 80
 
2003 highlights: Midville GM Joe Falzarano returns from his hiatus and the league swells to eight teams (and separate divisions) for the first time in league history. Due to the shorter schedule, the Bandits are left one win away from tying the league record for most wins in a season. The Bandits knock the Heartbreakers (now the Demons) out of the playoffs in five games and the Hitmen upset the favored Crackheads in the Marillac Cup Semifinals. The Bandits take advantage of the Hitmen's pitching woes (injuries and ineffectiveness that led to pitchers having to pitch tired) and win the Marillac Cup Championship in 7 games.
 
 
2004
Bandits 45 27 0.625 --- 72
Spanish Harlem Heat 41 31 0.569 4 72
Crackheads 38 34 0.528 7 72
Fours 36 36 0.500 9 72
Scribes 34 37 0.479 10.5 71
Marauders 27 44 0.380 17.5 71
Hitmen 30 42 0.417 15 72
 
2004 highlights: Old School Brothers manager Tim Walsh decided to remain in Florida after spring training and suspended baseball operations for the year. The league adopted a shorter schedule to accommodate the departure. The Bandits beat the Fours in five games and the Heat (now the Demons) took care of the Crackheads in the Marillac Cup Semifinals. The Bandits then won their third Marillac Cup Championship in another tight series with the Heat. A recap of that series can be found here. GM Jack Flynn punched the wall so hard (relatively speaking of course - have you seen his rubbery guns?) that a pane of glass broke on his bookshelf and Chris Forster was told to never come back to Forest Hills.
 
 
2005
Bandits 33 19 0.635 52
Hitmen 36 31 0.537 67
Spanish Harlem Heat 27 25 0.519 52
Crackheads 20 22 0.476 42
Scribes 25 38 0.397 63
Marauders* 1 6 0.143 7
Fours 15 16 0.484
31
 
* Note: Each team except the Bandits received 5 wins and 2 losses against Joe as consolation for Joe dropping out of the league. Since those games were never played, they are not included here.
 
2005 highlights: The league lost its second manager when Joe Falzarano decided he just didn't have what it takes to compete with the big boys. Having already played seven games against the Bandits, the records were adjusted (as noted above) and the remaining seven games against the Marauders were removed from the schedule. This, coupled with a few teams getting very slow starts, led to one of the worst seasons in league history in terms of morale and getting games played. In the Marillac Cup Semifinals, the Bandits beat the Heat in six games and the Hitmen took care of the Crackheads (the only playoff team ever with a sub .500 record) in their playoff matchup. The Hitmen and Bandits faced off again in the Marillac Cup Championship for a third time in six years, but the Bandits swept the Hitmen in four games.
 
 
2006

 

 

Bandits

54

30

0.643

---

84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demons

51

33

0.607

3

84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flesheaters

32

48

0.400

20

80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scribes

45

39

0.536

---

84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitmen

39

41

0.488

4

80

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mop-Ups

30

42

0.417

9

72

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories

27

45

0.375

---

72

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2006 highlights: With complaints about the NYLISL travel schedule at an all-time high, league braintrust re-configured the standings and set up a two-division format for the second time in four years. This also led to a revamped playoff format that only rewarded division winners with playoff berths. The Stanner Division outclassed the Redmen Division all season long and only the Wellwood Scribes of Lindenhurst finished with a winning record in the junior circuit. St. Jack's Demons made a furious late-season charge to finish with 51 wins (seven more than the Redmen Division Champion), but it wasn't enough to catch the New Jersey Bandits, who tied the all-time NYLISL single-season record for wins. In the Marillac Cup Championship, the upstart Scribes stretched the Bandits to seven games before finally succumbing, giving New Jersey its fourth straight title.

NYLISL TICKER: Eagles trade Neil Walker and Erick Aybar to Stories for Ian Desmond and Carl Crawford. ... 2014 First Round -- (1) Riffs, Jose Fernandez; (2) Barkeaters, Chris Davis; (3) Bandits, Yasiel Puig; (4) Bandits (from Stories), Greg Holland; (5) Barkeaters (from Scribes), Luke Hochevar; (6) Scribes (from Eagles), Josh Donaldson; (7) Stories (from Bandits), Travis Wood. .... Opening Day is Feb. 22. ... Schedule consists of 14 games vs. each opponent. ... Bandits (Nationals Park) and Riffs (Marlins Park) sign three-year leases. ...