EKL Formation Edit
Anthony DiGiorgio started playing in fantasy baseball leagues while in college at the University of California, Santa Barbara. These leagues were with scattered friends and acquaintances, each with varying levels of involvement and devotion. Owner passivity led DiGiorgio to begin researching keeper & dynasty leagues. He began discussing the creation of a keeper league with his longtime childhood friend Matt Foge as well as college roommates Adam Vargas and Jacob Rosales.
After college graduation, DiGiorgio began working in Davis, CA. He was still hesitant about starting a league for a number of reasons. Cost, complexity, a paucity of dedicated owners and a fear of the unknown held DiGiorgio back. Finally, in the winter of 2006-2007, he began recruiting owners and purchased a season of CBS's commissioner league baseball. He modified a copy of dynasty rules he found on the internet, and Epic Keeper Leauge was formed.
Owners were asked to commit to a five year minimum for the league. Initial dues were $40 a piece per year. Foge, Vargas and Rosales were easy to recruit to the newly formed league. High school colleague and fellow UCSB alum, Garth Hall joined, as did another UCSB Gaucho, Bobby Rodrigues. DiGiorgio recruited longtime friend Nader Sherafat, despite trepidation about the owner's dedication. Lastly, DiGiorgio found out his newly hired coworker Robert Kranz was an avid baseball fan and an invitation was extended to him. The original eight owners were in place.
Inaugural Draft Edit
The very first EKL auction & draft was held on a cold spring day in 2007. The draft was done completely remotely using a third party auction application, as CBS did not have built in auction capability at the time. Seven of the eight owners were online at the time (Sherafat was conspicuously absent). The original auction was lengthy as all eight teams needed to fill their entire active rosters, minor league and reserve spots. The details have changed with each subsequent re-telling, but the consensus is that first draft was a little over 18 hours long.
It was during the minor league portion of the draft that Bobby Rodrigues would select "Ryan Z Braun" using the draft software. This player was an unknown pitching prospect in the Royal's farm system. Ryan J Braun, the vaunted Brewers prospect would go undrafted, later being picked up by Oligodendrocyte as a free agent mid-season. Rodrigues' blunder would haunt his team for years to come.