Thursday, January 28, 2010

Know That Owner: Steve Oelheim

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping in to enjoy the newly revamped Mordecai blog! It’s time for the second installment in our “Meet the Owner” series… or in this case, “Meet the Commish”!

I’m on a first-name basis with a lot of the owners in Mordecai, but for those of you who don’t know, my name is Steve Oelheim, aka smoelheim on WhatIfSports. I am an original member of Mordecai, but not its original commissioner. The league founder bailed after the first season, and when nobody else stepped up, I decided to do what I could to keep the league running. It was a great choice, as this world is filled with great people and dedicated HBD owners. I expect to be here for a long, long time.

Outside of HBD, I am 38 years old, married for the last 8, and have two kids who really keep me running. When I’m not chasing them around the house (or the park, or the zoo, or the kids museum, or wherever), I like to escape for a round of golf in the warmer months, and we have season tickets to the local hockey team (the Rochester Americans of the AHL, hockey’s “AAA” league) in the colder months. I’m not real good at sitting around the house doing nothing.

I was born, raised, and still live in Rochester, NY. I work as a Sr Programmer Analyst for the #3 Company to Work For in America ( It started out as a part time job when I was 16, and I’m still working for the same company today. How many 38 year olds can say they’ve got 22 years of seniority with their current employer?

I grew up as a Yankees fan (primarily because my first little league team was the Yankees), and the first game I ever specifically remember watching was the Yankees/Red Sox 1-game playoff in 1978, when Bucky Dent hit the infamous HR. I still remember running around the house celebrating. But a cancelled World Series, the length of the games, the “steroids/wound ball era”, and lack of a salary cap to level the playing field have all turned me off to the game. I find it completely unwatchable anymore. But I DO miss the statistics aspect of it, because I’m a huge numbers guy. That’s what brought me to WIS so long ago!

My dream WIS game would be Hockey Dynasty, but I’m not holding my breath for it anytime soon. I’m sure that a pro football game is higher on WIS’ priority list. If either of these games ever comes true, I’ll have a team in each, but will always leave my Mordecai team as my one remaining HBD team.

I think this was a great idea by rbedwell, and am glad that there was interest in resurrecting the Mordecai blog. I look forward to reading more owner bios in the coming weeks and months. And if anyone has other content they would like to submit, please talk to myself or Ralph, we’d be happy to publish submissions by everyone!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Know That Owner: Ralph Bedwell

We're rolling out our updated blog with a new feature: Know That Owner. Brief bios of Mordecai owners so we can put some real people to those WIS usernames. I'll start!

As some of you know around these parts, I'm Ralph Bedwell, or rbedwell on WIS. To the right you can see me during Spring Training with Dover Diamonds' slugger Dude Perez (I'm the one in the sunglasses); now that I look at it, I can see why so many other teams have said, "That Perez is a monster!" As you can tell by all the gray hair, I'm an old guy. I always tell my students that I'm 112 -- which sadly some of them believe -- but actually I'm 54. What you'd notice first thing about me is that I'm 6'3" and weigh in at around 250.

When not engrossed in HBDland, I teach tenth grade English at Kennedy High School in Richmond, CA. It's your typical inner city school, with gang violence, poverty, high dropout rate, a busy childcare center, etc. Teaching at JFK is a big challenge, but the kids there need good teachers a lot more than the kids in the 'burbs, which is what keeps me plugging through the day-to-day frustrations.

Family is the biggest thing in my life, though. Despite being a near-Methuselah, my wife and I have three young kids, daughters aged 5 and 9, and a 12-year-old son. My wife just turned 40 herself, so I have to stay young to keep up with all of them! We love going places as a pack -- museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, science centers, libraries, parks, hiking trails, book sales, etc.

Somehow I've managed to become over-educated. I have a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and two M.S. degrees from C.S.U. East Bay. For years, my secret goal has been to become a college instructor, but those jobs are hard to come by in the S.F. Bay Area, so no-go so far.

Sim baseball has been a hobby since I was a kid. I made up a dice game, sort of a crude APBA, that I played for years, then eventually got engrossed in the Bill James Classic Game, which was sort of like WIS sim baseball except it was played by telephone and snail mail (which was delivered by the Pony Express, of course). HBD is the best one yet, slam dunk. See ya'll on the virtual field!

If you're into Facebook, look me up and add me as a friend.