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Mark Twain to replace Mark McGwire?

The name of the venerable author and humorist may be added to the highway currently honoring the former St. Louis Cardinals slugger.

Mark McGwire Highway, 09/20/99 (AP Photo/James A. Finley)“What goes up, must come down,” went the 1960’s song “Spinning Wheel.” So it may follow for the signs designating “Mark McGwire Highway.”

According to an AP report, on Monday the Missouri State Senate voted unanimously in approval of Senate Bill 841, which includes renaming a six-mile segment of Interstate 70 in St. Louis from “Mark McGwire Highway” to “Mark Twain Highway.” The road was selected to commemorate McGwire’s then-record 70 home runs hit during the 1998 season.

Apparently the 34-members of the Senate were not among those who gave McGwire a standing ovation in his first public appearance as the St. Louis Cardinals new hitting coach at the Winter Warm-Up fan event in January.

Twain is a national treasure best known as an author and humorist, traits not associated with the former slugger, under criticism for his admission of steroids use as he amassed those records as a player.

Perhaps the choice of Twain, born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, MO in 1835, was made so most of the real estate on the existing signs could be reused.  A more inappropriate, yet equally resource-saving alternative, “Jay McGwire Highway,” likely did not receive any serious consideration from the lawmakers.

To formally change the road’s designation, added in 1999, the measure must still pass the State House.

In acknowledgment of the occasion, I thought I would share a few of Twain’s countless timeless quotes, courtesy of

“By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity–another man’s I mean.”

“When a person cannot deceive himself, the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.”

“There is no suffering comparable with that which a private person feels when he is for the first time pilloried in print.”

“The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might.”

“The public is the only critic whose judgment is worth anything at all.”

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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