Wayne Thompson: Online Leagues Are His Passion
“Normally when I played baseball video games, I would spend more time trying to manage the team and set up the rosters [than playing the game],” says Wayne Thompson, who has been a fan of Out of the Park Baseball since version 5, which was released 12 years ago. “I would sim more games than I would actually play because the GM role was much more interesting to me. I wanted to see if I could build a winner.”
He adds that when he discovered OOTP, he “fell in love with the game because it fit exactly what I wanted to do. I continue to purchase and play it because it is the most realistic baseball sim out there. I love the GM aspect of games so this to me is a way to try and run a team better than a real life GM.”
Thompson soon moved on to setting up and running online leagues, starting with the World Baseball League, “which was, creatively, probably my best league,” he says. “We had people create their teams based on countries around the world which were in the World Cup. We were divided into groups like the World Cup, then had a playoff at the end like normal baseball.”
Replaying Some Childhood Years
Thompson used that experience to then launch an historical league that started in 1998 and ended up running through 2013. After it had run its course, he started a new historical league, Sandlot Baseball League, which started in 1985. He recalls: “I was born in 1983 and a lot of the GMs in the league grew up watching baseball during this era, so it was a perfect year for us to start in. I grew up loving watching Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez, so this was a perfect way for me to replay history and see if I could run a team better than the previous GMs and see how the players from that era play out for us.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the 1985 World Series in the SBL and Thompson’s favorite club, the Texas Rangers, took home the championship the following season. As of the date of this article, the SBL is in the offseason and getting ready for the 1987 campaign.
Thompson also recently launched another league, Ultimate League Baseball, which began in 2016 and is currently in August 2017. The Boston Red Sox won the 2016 World Series in that league and are two games out of first place in their division, with sole possession of the first Wild Card spot, at the current date of the follow-up season.
Hats Off to Michael Young and the OOTP Development Team
Thompson has been a baseball fan since he was a kid, switching his allegiance from the San Diego Padres to the Texas Rangers after his family moved to Texas when he was 16. “My favorite memory of going to a ballpark was a few years ago when we were at a Rangers game and it ended up being Michael Young’s game where he reached his 2,000 hits in 2011,” he says. “That was such a cool experience to see the fans give him a standing ovation.”
He lives too far away from Arlington to attend more than one or two games a year, but OOTP gives him his baseball fix any time, particularly when running online leagues. “If I didn’t have to work, I would probably run three or four online leagues because I enjoy it so much,” he says. “I enjoy talking to other people from all over the world, which makes it so much more interesting. The respect most people show and the way they help each other has been fun.”
Thompson closed by saying: “I would love to thank the OOTP developers. I really appreciate all the hard work that has been put into these games. The interface is awesome to use and the player environment is amazing.”