Woulfe sells stats for Rotisserie league

BIG-LEAGUE HOBBY

October 01, 1990|By Leslie Cauley

One piece of career advice has it that you should decide what you really enjoy doing, then find a way to get paid for it.

Terry Woulfe didn't exactly start out with that in mind, but that's what happened. In July, he left his job as an investment adviser with Legg Mason in Baltimore to work full time at what up until then had been a part-time hobby: Rotisserie baseball.

A vicarious sport for armchair fans, Rotisserie baseball is popular among couch potatoes, sports nuts and other assorted fans of America's favorite pastime. Participants operate their own fantasy "leagues" by assembling "teams" from the actual rosters of the American and National baseball leagues. Then, throughout the season, participants track how their teams are faring by keeping up with the statistics of the actual players.

That's where Mr. Woulfe comes in. His company, USA Stats of Baltimore, provides statistical readouts to Rotisserie leagues across the United States.

"I thought it would be an interesting sideline, that it might grow into something that I could justify doing full time," said Mr. Woulfe, 33, a fan of Rotisserie baseball for about eight years.

Mr. Woulfe said he got the idea to set up his own statistical service as a result of his own experiences as a Rotisserie player. Existing services, he said, weren't efficient, and often delivered statistics late.

"I was quite aware from working with stat services that nobody was doing a good job," said Mr. Woulfe.

So he decided to start his own business. He bought a computer, got some customized software, set up a toll-free line for people to call, then waited to see whether it would take off.

It did.

Mr. Woulfe said it wasn't long after he started the service that he found himself juggling 90-hour work weeks: 40 hours a week at USA Stats and 50 hours at Legg Mason.

By July, he said the service had grown enough to justify leaving Legg Mason and working full time at USA Stats, which today has 1,100 clients in 34 states.

Unlike some of the other services, USA Stats can fax stats to clients within 24 hours of a live game. For people who aren't in such a hurry, stats can also be mailed. The service costs $50 a team for unlimited stats.

Mr. Woulfe said he is probably going to branch out into Rotisserie football soon as a service to his clients.

That should give all those Monday-morning quarterbacks something to look forward to.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Rotisserie baseball can call USA Stats at (800) USA-1980, or, locally, at 821-8753.

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