Rick Wolf, a fantasy-industry veteran, estimated that Mr. Mergler’s site likely needs between 2,000 and 5,000 players to be successful.
“The thing Toby has going for him is that he’s not just a business guy,” said Mr. Wolf, who helped found CBS Sportsline’s fantasy sports and the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. “He’s a high-end fantasy baseball player. There’s a lot of intricacies to the games, and a lot of the big media companies didn’t get it right until they hired developers who knew fantasy. Toby has a real passion for it.”
Having finally found a capable programming team - at, of all places, a Washington Nationals game, serendipitously and over beers with a friend of a friend - Mr. Mergler currently is accepting customer sign-ups and plans to launch his site in early June. He also is working as a contract lawyer, the better to fund the project.
Someday, Mr. Mergler said with a laugh, he may even have time to play it.
“The entire time we’ve been married, I don’t think Toby and I have ever gone to bed at the same time,” Mrs. Mergler said. “He’s always up working on this. But that’s the fun thing about being married to him. You always hear people say they have a great idea for a business. Most never follow through. Toby does.”