WASHINGTON -- Having experienced the culture of kangaroo court, Matt Rice is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The former Tampa Bay Rays outfield prospect was among the clerks hired by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for the 2019-20 term.
Now 30, Rice was selected by the New York Yankees with the 1,525th and final pick on the 50th round of the 2010 amateur draft but did not sign. He stayed at Western Kentucky, where he became a summa cum laude graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Taken a year later in the ninth round by the Rays with the 300th pick, Rice agreed to a minor league contract with a $25,000 signing bonus.
He hit .286 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 54 games in 2011 for Hudson Valley of the short-season Class A New York-Penn League then batted .301 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 74 games the following season for Bowling Green of the Class A Midwest League.
Rice left baseball and graduated from law school at the University of California. He clerked for Judge Sandra Ikuta at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016-17 then became an associate at the firm of Williams & Connolly in Washington.
Baseball teams are famous for their kangaroo courts, where senior players dispense fines for offenses against clubhouse culture.