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Brad Lidge used to save games for the Houston Astros, now he saves ancient artifacts in Italy. The former All-Star closer has picked up a new hobby during retirement: Archeology.
For the past five years, Lidge has taken trips to Europe to participate in excavations, according to For The Win’s Ted Berg. Lidge got into archeology as a player, reading books about ancient history when the team was on the road.
Once he retired, he was able to turn his hobby into a scholarly pursuit.
Lidge 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, in England. He did most of his coursework online, but the degree requirements included field work at sites around Europe. He participated in his first excavation in 2013 at Carsulae, in central Italy.
During his excavations, Lidge has found coins, bits of pottery, jewelry and other small artifacts.
Before you start thinking he’s about to become the baseball version of Indiana Jones, Lidge says that’s not exactly the case.
“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.
Lidge, who also hosts a baseball show on SiriusXM, isn’t ready to completely leave baseball for archeology just yet, though the thought has crossed his mind. He told Berg he’s considered becoming a professional archeologist, but that would require four more years of school and time out of the country.
While Lidge is enjoying himself and living out a hobby, part of his reasoning for taking his love of archeology to the next level had to do with sending a message to his kids.
“ I wanted to show my kids that, regardless of what your passions are, you’ve got to pursue them.”
That’s an admirable message to send, especially for someone who could have just quit working entirely when he left baseball.
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