Last month I headed to Lexington, KY, for the most recent version of my ongoing fantasy baseball league’s draft. Our 32nd.

We’ve also held it in the Lexington in Massachusetts, along with San Diego, Tampa, Palm Beach, Boston, DC, Vermont, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona and other spots around the country.

And for about the 25th year in a row, my co-manager (the one from Utah) and I pretty much mailed it in for the draft, trying to look up players as it started to see who was still in the major leagues (Spoiler alert: Deion Sanders, Wade Boggs and Rickey Henderson have all retired, apparently).

Once the season starts we engage and try and stay competitive, but the Rabid Muppets have only won twice in those first thirty-one years. It’s not a great strategy.

The participants consist of Harvard Law School classmates plus a handful of others, and include a federal judge, a sabermetrics professor, a New York Times columnist, a stats teacher, a finance guy, several authors, and even a lawyer or two.

And a LOT of differing political, religious and other views. Passionately held and defended.

Members of the author's fantasy baseball team watch high school basketball at Rupp Arena at the University of Kentucky

And that’s the beauty. We can debate ad nauseum, with great passion. I mean, most of us are (or were) attorneys.

But when it’s done, it’s done. The relationships outlast the debate. Nobody hates America. Nobody is trying to unravel the Republic. No one is a danger to [insert faith tradition here].

It’s not only remarkably unique, but also seems to be what relationships so often do, allowing us to find common ground, even when there doesn’t seem to be much. 

And so I returned home refreshed and reinvigorated, and with a new appreciation for Kentucky high school basketball (they play the Sweet Sixteen in Rupp Arena), and a reminder to put my phone down and interact with others.

Even when they draft the player I really wanted (if I’d ever heard of him). 

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