Chris Calciano, an area scout for the Boston Red Sox since 2007, remembers it well: “I took a college catcher with a big arm and absolutely no bat in the back of the top 10 rounds and converted him to a reliever,” he says. “After three or four minor league seasons, he made his debut and he pitched to a sub 3.00 ERA for parts of five major league seasons. He peaked as a 7th inning guy for a year or so.”
He recalls another story that didn’t end so well: “I had a young phenomenal center fielder who flew through the system and was hitting in the three hole as a 21-year-old. He played for three weeks and was leading the team in every key offensive category until he collided with my right fielder … career-ending injury!”
Wondering who those players were and why their stories aren’t immediately familiar? That’s because Calciano is relating the highs and lows of managing a virtual team in Out of the Park Baseball, which has had him hooked since 2008, despite his day job for an MLB club. Like many OOTP players, he cut his teeth on Micro League Baseball during the 80s and later moved on to Pursue the Pennant before finally diving headfirst into a pair of online OOTP leagues, Pioneers of the Diamond and Major League Baseball Dreams.