Induction ceremony to take place June 28 at Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’s summer conference in New York City
The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame Committee has selected Lawr Michaels as its 2019 inductee to the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame.
Michaels, who began his fantasy sports writing career in the early 1990s under the direction of Hall of Famer John Benson, passed away in December after a series of health issues. Nicknamed the “Zen Master” for his unconventional way of looking at the game of fantasy baseball, Michaels was beloved and respected by fantasy players and industry experts alike.
Over his career, he wrote for numerous publications and websites and appeared as both a host and guest on dozens of talk-radio shows. Michaels, who was a central character in Sam Walker’s 2006 best-selling book about the Tout Wars fantasy baseball league, “Fantasyland,” also was a stats stringer for 10 years with MLB.com for the A’s and Giants, played lead guitar in three bands and was an active animal advocate.
At the time of his death, Michaels was in the process of re-launching his website, CREATiVESPORTS2.com, which had served as a springboard for new and non-traditional writers to begin their fantasy writing careers. One of his passions was to foster careers in the fantasy and sports writing industry.
In a myriad of tributes to Michaels after his death, he was hailed as a warm, inviting presence, with a deep knowledge of sports and a brilliant fantasy mind.
USA TODAY’s Steve Gardner noted that Michaels was, “always approachable and happy to talk to anyone about the fantasy industry … or music … or life in general. He treated everyone, even those he just met, like an old friend. It’s hard to imagine a better ambassador for the fantasy sports industry than Lawr Michaels.”
Hall of Famer Ron Shandler said that Michaels “was the heart of Tout Wars, though the beat was uniquely his. It breathed life into this ‘game about a game’ and the camaraderie he fostered for nearly two decades.”
Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus added that, “being around Lawr made you a better person. You wanted to match his joy, his heart. Lawr Michaels, who could write and analyze with any of them … just wanted to connect with you, over whatever you loved. Your draft, your team, your new putter, your favorite band, your kid. Lawr Michaels spread joy, and he would want us to do the same.”
MLB.com’s Cory Schwartz remembered Michaels similarly, stating he was, “a genuine American original: a passionate baseball junkie, talented musician, unabashed hippie, enthusiastic lover of life and people. A one-of-a-kind bundle of energy and ideas, the human embodiment of his Tigger tattoo.”
Michaels becomes the 21st member of the Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame, joining previous honorees Ian Allan, Greg Ambrosius, John Benson, Matthew Berry, Paul Charchian, Cliff Charpentier, Steve Cohen, Glenn Colton, John Dewan, John Hunt, Bill James, Daniel Okrent, Peter Pezaris, Rob Phythian, Peter Schoenke, Ron Shandler, Glen Waggoner, Charlie Wiegert, Bill Winkenbach and Rick Wolf.
In lieu of the traditional plaque, Michaels’ memory will be honored by a donation to the Berkeley (Calif.) Humane Society.
Induction ceremonies will take place June 28 at the Crowne Plaza, Times Square in New York City, the site of the FSGA Summer Conference. Register for the conference at https://thefsga.org/2019-summer-conference/. A complete agenda of the event can be found at https://thefsga.org/conference-agenda/.
The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association is the only national organization representing the interests of fantasy sports and gaming companies. We are the voice for more than nearly 60 million fantasy sports players in the United States and Canada, and for the companies that provide services, news, information and competition to support this growing industry. Our members are sports and gaming enthusiasts, with companies that range from small startups to large media corporations. Our mission is to provide our members with essential research and data, networking opportunities and collective action to help them reach their potential. For more information, visit https://thefsga.org/.