Fantasyland: A Sportswriter's Obsessive Bid to Win the World's Most Ruthless Fantasy Baseball League

Fantasyland: A Sportswriter's Obsessive Bid to Win the World's Most Ruthless Fantasy Baseball League

by Sam Walker


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Every spring, millions of Americans prepare to take part in one of the oddest, most obsessive, and most engrossing rituals in the sports pantheon: Rotisserie baseball, a fantasy game where armchair fans match wits by building their own teams. In 2004, Sam Walker, a sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal, decided to explore this phenomenon by talking his way into Tout Wars, a league reserved for the nation’s top experts. The result is one of the most sheerly entertaining sports books in years and a matchless look into the heart and soul of our national pastime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143038436
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 615,918
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sam Walker is a senior special writer for The Wall Street Journal and appears frequently on ESPNews.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

A vivid journey into baseball’s bizarro world . . . Mr. Walker not only finds the humor in this world of the obsessed, he also finds the drama. (Dan Barry, The New York Times)

Brilliantly funny. (The Washington Post)

I have read many books on baseball, but none of them approach the delight, the zaniness, the lunacy, and the sheer reading pleasure of Sam Walker’s Fantasyland. (Buzz Bissinger, author of Three Nights in August and Friday Night Lights

The most entertaining book ever written about pretend sports. (Chuck Klosterman, Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine)

Customer Reviews

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Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
LesaHolstine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Walker spends the 2004 season playing Rotisserie (fantasy) baseball. The book gets a little overwhelming at times with stats.
weaverlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story of an intense rotissiere baseball league season.
jmcclain19 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hilarious Book. A bit over the top at times but still quite amusing. A look into the a Wall Street Journal Reporter as he tries to win one of the most difficult fantasy baseball leagues around - in his first season as a fantasy baseball manager. Found it much more entertaining than I thought it would be when I received it as a gift.
dds1981 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An absolute hoot. Explains in hilarious detail why I've avoided playing fantasy baseball as I would completely obsess over the most obscure minor league prospects in hopes of outsmarting my fellow players. Months of pre-season research followed by daily stress. I'm already prepping for the 2007 season. ;-)
TimV57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun, well-written look into the geeky but hypnotic world of fantasy baseball. Sam Walker trtaces the origins of the game, profiles the super geeks who advise the rest of us, and gives insight into playing in the most competitive fantasy baseball league. The one downer, I think, is that Walker emptied his bank account to have a staff of two full timers, an actress/temptress and a psychic. It makes for good reading, but to me, not as interesteing as if he would have went it alone or with advice from buddies. His moments with the players themselves are excellent, and I walked away from this book with a few new favorite big leaguers, for many different reasons.I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who plays fantasy baseball or is just curious as to why those who play it are so fanatical about it.
ralphmalph on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book with great insight into the real competive side of Fantasy Baseball. As someone who loves baseball and loves fantasy baseball I was engaged from page 1 of the book. The only negative to the book was when I got done reading I couldn't join the league and try my skills!
dvf1976 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A really fun book.I liked the times that the author tried to "coach up" his roto players by speaking to them in person.Ortiz, Jacque Jones, and Bill Mueller, and Miguel Batista all seem like fun guys.
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'll confess right now that this was not the book I thought it was. Having never heard of Fantasy Baseball, I thought this book would be the chronicle of one sportswriter following a particular season. What the book was, instead, was the story of one sportswriter following a particular Rotisserie Baseball season, which is a different thing entirely. And I very much suspect that it is, like the three stooges, a guy thing. Not that I don't enjoy baseball (Go Jays!) - it's just that I don't feel the burning need to spend my every waking moment poring over baseball statistics and idolizing grown men who play a game for a living. Still - even for someone who had no inkling that this event even existed, the book was a fascinating read. It helped that the author was playing in an American League pool, so I was familiar with the teams and the personalities (Go Jays!). But it was also well written, from an insider's perspective on sports and an outsider's perspective on Fantasy Baseball. Refreshing and entertaining, this is a book for gamblers or fantasy team aficionados.
JamesPaul977 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly (or down the middle of the plate) recommended!! Interesting, well-written, & funny account of baseball, gamesmanship, and a wide range of human nature. After reading a library copy I reviewed it on Amazon when ordering copies for my brother and a friend. I then got an email from the author and corresponded with him for marketing feedback. Nice guy, great book!!
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Erick Kaiser More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for anyone involved in ANY fantasy sports league. I hated getting to the final chapter.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
one of the funniest books i've read in ages. for any baseball fan, not just fantasy dorks. it's like Money Ball by Michael Lewis rewritten by AJ Jacobs but funnier. Go Soxs!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A well-written and researched book that is funny, too. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't play fantasy baseball, but I do follow the Braves sometimes, and I loved this book! It's very insightful about the vulnerabilities of players, their courage and determination--things I hadn't thought about before. But mostly, it's just one of the funniest books I've ever read. Walker is a great guy! He enters every situation with great good humor and amazing insight and when he isn't making you laugh, makes you think. This is on my list for my Dad, and my nephews. It's always such a relief to find things to give the men in my life!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not a fantasy baseball book so much as a book about baseball fantasies. Sam Walker spent a year 'managing' his fantasy baseball team by going on the road and trying to get inside the hearts and minds of his players. Their interactions are hilarious, but Walker's insights into what's going on in baseball resonate. I loved it and am buying copies for all the guys in my league, okay maybe i'll just tell them to buy it. Highly recommended for baseball fans and fantasists alike. The stuff about Oritz alone is worth buying it for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read an advance (galley) copy of the book that a friend had gotten his hands on, and I have never laughed harder at a book (Calvin and Hobbes excluded, of course). This guy spent all kinds of money, and traveled across the globe to try and win a FANTASY LEAGUE! It's nuts! Along the way, though, you get all these characters--all the guys in the league are pretty unique (my favorite was Dean Peterson, yours will probably be Lawr Michaels or Ron Shandler), he has these two assistants, Nando and Sig, who are constantly at odds with each other at all times, and he even goes to a game with an astrologer, and has her help him with a trade. The book also gives you a pretty cool look at baseball players as people. David Ortiz, Jacque Jones, Gary Sheffield, Doug Mientkiewicz--you'll never look at them the same way again--in a good way. And all these cool locker room scenes--it's almost like being behind the scenes with a sportswriter as he tries to win the league. This book is up there with Friday Night Lights and Bringin Down the House. In fact, I'd put it above the two, just because you actually know a lot of these players. Also, I don't like the Wall Street Journal. I think it is stuffy, and I hate business. You'd never know this guy wrote for the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, he's the sportswriter, and doesn't have that business-type style. Don't let the WSJ thing dissuade you. I highly recommend reading this book (I am sure Barnes and Noble and Mr. Walker would recommend you buy it). I saw an advanced, uncorrected proof, and it was AWESOME.