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Three Wise Men
June 05, 2006
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June 05, 2006

Three Wise Men

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How do sports stars fit in? Person I'd most like to meet Nickname as a kid Most scared I've ever been Song that reminds me of summer Book I'm currently reading Superhero I'm most like
JOHN THOMSON Braves P Jackie Robinson Red When I got hit in the face by a line drive Summertime Blues ( Alan Jackson) I don't read Don't know
JOEY CHESTNUT Eating Champ Bill Clinton (above) Puff (the Magic Dragon) Being chased by pack of wild dogs at age six Take Me Out to the Ballgame Eat This Book (Ryan Nerz) Wolverine
HANK BLALOCK Rangers 3B Vince Neil The Hammer On my wedding day Anything by The Beach Boys (above) I don't read books None
NICOLE VAIDISOVA Tennis Player Madonna (right) Bambi Watching the movie The Ring We Run This (Missy Elliott) Kiss the Girls (James Patterson) Scooby Doo (above)



CLAIM TO BRAINS Stanford grad (economics); SAT score: 1440 (out of 1600). Currently reading physicist Brian Greene's Elegant Universe, which explains how superstring theory reconciles quantum mechanics with Einstein's relativity theory. Bruntlett, 28, had his intellectual curiosity nourished early--parents Angela and Craig (a Ph.D. in chemistry) introduced him to algebra in first grade. He had a 3.97 GPA at Indiana's Harrison High; these days he stays sharp playing Sudoku. "I don't think Bruntlett says enough to come out with a dumb thought," says teammate Brad Lidge. "When he does [say something], everyone listens."



CLAIM TO BRAINS Three years at Notre Dame. Ancient civilizations buff. Though closers usually cultivate short memories, Lidge loves the past. "One of my favorite books is The Histories, by Herodotus," says the pitcher. "He lived more than 2,000 years ago, and he learned about [people] who lived 2,000 years before him. It gives a good perspective." Bruntlett marvels at the breadth of Lidge's knowledge, but Brad Ausmus sees his teammate as a bit of a slacker. "If Brad had spent as much time studying in school as he does in fantasy football," says Ausmus, "he would have been a straight-A student."



CLAIM TO BRAINS Dartmouth grad (government). No grade below B. "He has one of the sharpest wits," says teammate Lance Berkman of the Gold Glover. Ausmus's father, Harry, is a retired professor of European history at Southern Connecticut State and the author of A Schopenhauerian Critique of Nietzsche's Thought, which Ausmus, 37, calls his "favorite book." Lidge says the catcher has absent-minded-professor moments. "One game Roger Clemens had to call Brad out [to the mound] three times because he kept messing up the signs," says Lidge. "I think at least two times Brad didn't know how many outs there were."


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