One of the original members of the Hall of Fame League, the Compton Crips are a franchise steeped in tradition.
Founded in 1995, the Compton Crips established themselves early on as the dominant offensive force in the HOFL. Having done some serious research prior to the inaugural draft, the Crips drafted some of the best hitters in the game: Rogers Hornsby, Arky Vaughan, and Jimmie Foxx. Compton played its home games in Coors Field, and the resulting offensive explosion has never been equalled in the HOFL. Early Compton players like Hornsby, Foxx, Kevin Mitchell, and even Paul O'Neill consistently had monster seasons while, predictably, pitching suffered. Compton slugged its way to division pennants in 1996 and 1997.
Compton's hugely offensive seasons from 1997-1999 have never been topped. But annual drafts began to take their toll on the perennially winning Crips, with two or three big hitters leaving the team every year. The Crips were struggling their way to another playoff appearance in 2000 when the league playoffs were abruptly cancelled.
In 2001, HOFL teams got a fresh start with a complete redraft. Compton had an opportunity to change its approach. Instead of big bats, the new philosophy was for a more balanced team. And since a balanced team would be more successful in a more balanced park, Compton moved out of Coors Field and into the Ballpark in Arlington. Pedro Martinez, the first player drafted by the Crips in 2001, would become a symbol of Compton's shifting philosophy and the most dominant pitcher in the league.
The 2002 season saw the creation of the minor leagues. Compton's first minor league team was briefly called the Katy White Trash before changing their name to the more gross but more politically correct Galveston Gas Passers. In a bold marketing move, Compton's first minor league team fielded an entire lineup of players named Dick. The fans came, but the wins did not. In 2003, the team moved to Barton Creek (in Austin, Texas), and the name was changed to the Bloods to more accurately reflect the spirit of the Compton Crips franchise. In 2004, the team moved to Buford (a small town north of Atlanta), and in 2005, the team moved again to Ballston (in Arlington, Virginia). The most popular player in Compton's minor league system has always been Ryan Bowen. Statistically, his 1992 season is one of the worst seasons for a pitcher in major league history.
Behind Pedro's strong pitching and consistent hitting, Compton finally won its first HOFL Championship in 2002, beating Boro Park in the World Series 4-1.
The Crips won another AL pennant in 2003 but faltered in the playoffs. In 2004, the team missed the playoffs when they lost the last game of the season.
Compton looked to the past in 2005, stockpiling big bats and platooning players at almost every position in an effort to squeeze every possible run out of the simulation. The strategy paid off quickly, as the Crips scored more than eight runs a game in Spring Training. Compton hit the ground running in the regular season and made another run at a HOFL Championship, ultimately losing to South Beach 4-2 in the World Series.
The 2006 season saw the Crips return to the World Series again, this time to face Austin. Compton lost the Series 4-2 on a dramatic walk-off home run by Austin's Lyman Bostock in Game 6.
In 2008, Compton pushed the limits of the DMB software. Focusing on home runs, Compton filled its roster with home run hitters and moved into the Polo Grounds, one of the best home run parks in baseball history. As expected, the Crips broke the single-season team home run record with 490, over 100 more than any other team in history. But success was fleeting, with the team barely finishing above .500 on the season.
The 2009 season was a big year for Compton. The Polo Grounds home run experiment was over, and Compton moved back to Coors Field in an attempt to ignite their offense. A pre-season trade of fan favorite Pedro Martinez for Mickey Mantle was enough to send the Crips to the World Series, where they beat Pittsburgh 4-3 and took their second HOFL Championship.
In 2010, HOFL teams had a complete redraft. Compton stayed true to its roots, drafting big hitters and moving into the cozy confines of Fenway Park. Fighting all season in the freshly competitive AL West, the Crips narrowly missed the playoffs.
In the 2013 season, the normally resilient Compton led the league 33 injuries and 342 player-games lost to injury (an average of 2.01 player-games lost per team game played). The Crips battled for position all season before taking advantage of a late-season Las Vegas collapse and miraculously winning a playoff play-in game vs. Merced to win the AL West.
Through 2010, Compton was the 2nd-winningest franchise in HOFL history, with 1,257 wins (6 behind Long Island's 1,263). Compton is the only team to make it to the World Series four times and is one of only three teams to win two HOFL Championships.
The winning tradition continues...