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The Loop

A former MLB All-Star has turned into a real-life Indiana Jones

September 27, 2018
New York Yankees v Philadelphia Phillies, World Series Game 4

Rich Pilling

Remember Brad Lidge? Two-time All-Star, had a kick-ass nickname for a reliever ("Lights Out"), won a ring with the Phillies, gave up a homer to Albert Pujols that still hasn't landed:

Anyway, Lidge is still tied to the game, working as a special assistant for the Philadelphia Phillies and hosting a radio show. Which is all fine and good. But you're not reading this because Lidge is doing what every other retired ballplayer is doing. You're reading this because Lidge has also turned into Indiana Jones.

In an interview with For the Win, Lidge details his side passion, archeology.

"This was just one way where I could become more interactive with world history—reading about it is fun, but if there was a way I could interact with it physically, that was what I wanted to do,” Lidge said. “When I retired, I actually had an opportunity to pursue that. I wanted to show my kids that, regardless of what your passions are, you’ve got to pursue them. Not a lot of people get to reset in their profession in their late 30s, but I was able to.”

Granted, Lidge isn't fighting Nazis or finding refuge from a nuclear bomb in a refrigerator. In fact, he goes out of his way to address the Harrison Ford comparison. "“It’s not so much looking for the Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail, it’s about finding the artifact that helps define the entire site,” he said. “When we were near Orvieto, it was an ancient Etruscan site and an ancient Roman site, and we were trying to figure out how the ancient Romans used the site. There seemed to be a lot of little pools of water, which the ancient Romans had built, and we were trying to see if they were following a water cult and find evidence of cultic practices there."

Still, given the average baseball player's side hobbies surmount to fantasy football, cars and women, Lidge is as renaissance as the sport gets.

Though he finished his bachelor’s degree after his playing career ended and enrolled in a Master’s program in archaeology and ancient history at the University of Leicester, Lidge would need four years of site work to earn a PhD. Nevertheless, given they're making another Indiana Jones—no, seriously, they are—perhaps Lidge is a suitable replacement to take over the mantle from Ford. Instead of a whip, he's armed with a fastball. A baseball cap could stand in for the iconic fedora. And for the running snakes gag, Pujols could pop in from time to time. You're welcome, Hollywood.