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Interstate bill honoring McGwire presented

January 19, 1999
By: EDWARD KLUMP
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs last year as he smashed baseball's old single-season record. But thanks to the Missouri legislature, Big Mac's name may soon be linked to the number 70 for a different reason.

Sen. Danny Staples, D-Eminence, presented a bill to the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday that would rename Interstate 70 in St. Louis to the "Mark McGwire Highway."

Staples is chairman of the committee. He presented the bill in place of its sponsor, Sen. John Scott, D-St. Louis, whose mother died earlier in the day.

The proposal was offered as a consent bill, meaning that little opposition is expected during the legislative process. Still, committee member Sen. Bill Kenney, R-Lee's Summit, asked why this sports star was singled out for such an honor.

"Do we have a Stan Musial highway?" asked Kenney, a former quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Musial didn't hit 70 home runs in one season," Staples answered.

The bill will be voted on during the committee's next executive session, and will go to the Senate floor if it's passed.

And even if the bill won't be hotly contested, McGwire's important stature wasn't lost on lawmakers on Tuesday. As the meeting ended, Staples jokingly posed a question that few Missourians wouldn't be able to answer.

"Do you all know who Mark McGwire is?" he asked.