WRIGLEYVILLE — It's probably not surprising that people didn't recognize newly crowned National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant during his stint as an undercover Lyft driver — he was wearing sunglasses.
Kris, baby: If you got it, flaunt it.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. [Getty Images]
Bryant, who was named The Sporting News' NL Rookie of the Year Monday, inherited those sparkling eyes — along with, you know, work ethic and stuff — from his dad, former Red Sox outfielder Mike Bryant.
Actually, both parents must have the blue-eyed gene for their child to have them. And if you have blue eyes, you might have a tiny speck of magical Kris Bryant genes in you — a 2008 study suggests that all blue-eyed people might be descended from a single person.
Replicating that exact Bryant blue shade isn't as easy as you'd think. Scientists say there are 12 or 13 genes that determine eye color. Which, we've deduced, is why Bryant has such a unique blend that seems to shift every time we see him, from a light cornflower blue to piercing sky blue to a foamy green.
Kris Bryant and his eyes. [Getty Images]
Wait ... what were we talking about?
Oh right. Genes. Turns out, they're starting to link those genes to different characteristics. The melanin that darkens pupils, for example, also insulates brain cells, giving brown-eyed people faster reaction times. Those with blue eyes are thought to be better at multitasking.
"The eye is so closely linked neurologically to the brain that you might call it the only part of our brain you can see from the outside. It seems to hold vital clues to our brain function," Dr. Anthony Fallone told The Daily Mail.
But it's not just Bryant's eyes we're in love with. It's the hair brimming with boyish charm, the flash of perfect pearly whites, the quizzical, slightly dazed look that says, "Who, me?"
Yes, Kris. You.
Kris Bryant is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on an RBI single during the first inning at Wrigley Field on Sept. 19. [Getty Images]
So what is it that makes someone so goshdarn, mindbogglingly attractive?
In 2010, experimental psychologist David Perrett said symmetry and averageness are factors, which "may seem contradictory, but we like to choose things that are familiar to us." The preference for symmetry is also seen in birds, suggesting it might be equated with a strong immune system.
Mmm, yeah baby. Symmetry. Immune systems. Yowza.
This Tweet from Kris Bryant features a majestic, stunning creature. There's also a cheetah. [Twitter/Kris Bryant]
In fact, as Perrett tells it, we're actually getting hotter as a species as we evolve. Without the need for a keen sense of smell our ancestors relied on for night navigation, our noses are scaled back and smaller.
This is where it gets really geeky.
There's this number called phi (it's like pi's younger, lesser-known brother). It's based on a ratio of 1.618:1, which is known as the golden ratio. That ratio is repeated in nature, from seashells to flowers to the size of our teeth.
In 2001, researchers used that ratio to create a mask with the ideal proportions. Theoretically, those with faces that match up are considered the most beautiful.
So we tested it out on some of our favorite Cubs players:
When overlaying the golden ratio-based mask with some top Chicago Cubs, some match up better than others. Top [L-R]: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jake Arietta. Bottom: Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo. [Headshots Provided/Chicago Cubs]
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