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Last Monday, a cabal of lobbyists, public relations executives, trade association heads, and former congressmen convened at the Massachusetts Avenue headquarters of General Motors. Brokering deals into the night over piles of statistical research, each eventually emerged — with a fantasy baseball team. There are plenty of rotisserie baseball leagues in Washington, but the Capital Baseball League may be among the more venerable of the genre. Founded 23 years ago by Policy Impact Communications lobbyist and Commissioner-for-Life John Haddow, the franchises include the Bottom Fishers (Steve Ricchetti of Ricchetti Associates and Jay Bonitt of Eli Lily), the Sea Dogs (Chris Hansen of AeA, formerly the American Electronics Association), and the Crackers (Ed Baxter of Parry, Romani, DeConcini & Symms, renowned as the league shark). Part of Haddow’s motivation for starting the league, he admits, was “to give these guys a reason to pick up the phone when I called.” The team owners meet periodically during the season to make trades and rib each other over dud draft picks, and award a framed baseball card roster of the winning team to its owner. The 2008 season is off to a heated start, with the bidding for the New York Mets’ Johan Santana and Jose Reyes reaching stratospheric heights not seen since Ricky Henderson’s heyday. In both cases, Haddow suspects his rivals went overboard. The Commissioner-for-Life, meanwhile, is kicking himself for being outbid on the Brewers’ Bill Hall, a tremendous utility player. Former International Republican Institute president and retired congressman Jack Buechner got him.
Jeff Horwitz can be contacted at [email protected].

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