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Madcap Baseball (aka Rayball) is the (Law Librarian’s) Way of the Game


If you need a reminder that there are funny, honest, and treacle-free people in this world and who are law librarians – and Ray is one – read on for a charming and very funny article about such a mensch:

His madcap recaps of Berkeley softball games have been a hit for 25 years
Raymond Weschler has organized an egalitarian pick-up softball league since 1997, but he prefers writing emails about the games to playing in them,” by Joanne Furio, Feb. 27, 2022, at the Berkeleyside (nonprofit news, free for all, funded by readers):

As one Commenter said: “Wow! I love this article. Thanks for the story and the abundant examples of Weschler’s hilarious prose. I’m so glad to have met this bunch of nuts. Good job of local reporting, B’side. And a ray of humorous camaraderie among the dark clouds of Other News.


Weschler founded the league after being frustrated by the cost and commitment required by traditional leagues. Last year, for example, Berkeley Recreation charged $640 for an eight-game softball summer season. Weschler charges $5 a game, which pays for field rentals and equipment and gives players flexibility. They sign up when they want — and are able — to play….

The rules are debated like the Constitution,” quipped Erica Riggs of Berkeley …”

About those Rayball newsletters:

“…. In them, Weschler’s been known to reference 16th-century theology and Charlemagne’s death. His syntax mixes words like “flibbertigibbet” and “fecklessitude” with “shitshow” and “peeps….”

“Even the titles of his electronic missives are entertaining and Victorian in their length and wit. Among them are “The Problematic Nexus of Athletic Dominance and Natural Philosophy,” from 2015; “A Pseudo-Hegalian Take on the Troubled Athletic Condition,” from 2014; and “A Huxleyan Gloss on Cosmology, Sport and the Hinge of Fate,” from 2013….”

“.… See his Dec. 19, 2021, sendup of one Dr. Alan Shabel, who “bobbled admittedly sucky throws to 2nd.” Or his Jan. 18, 2022, demolition of a boy named Holden, who “had become a veritable sieve at short in an unseemly cleaving of potential from execution.” Or — turning the pages of time back 15 years — his Jan. 9, 2007, revilement of the Miller Lights, a team “obviously … not drafted for their hitting or fielding prowess. Nor their speed….”

[Read the whole article and find links to the newsletters.]

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