7 cities where you can live on (or near) streets named after your favorite baseball players
When I was little I thought you could get a job naming all the streets in a city or town. Obviously, that's not a job you'd want to give a child because said child would name all of the streets after things they liked. If I had been in charge, every single block would have been named after astronauts and characters from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." And baseball players, of course.
Luckily, we live in a world where someone was granted that power. Just last week, Jarrod Dyson's hometown named a street after him. But McComb, Miss. isn't the only place you can find baseball on your map. Here are seven more.
Oklahoma City, OK
Here, you've got not one, not two, but three baseball-themed street options. In Oklahoma City's Bricktown, you can hang out on Mickey Mantle or Johnny Bench Drive. Feel free to take a stroll down Joe Carter Avenue as well:
These three streets surround Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the current home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers (the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles club). Of course, none of those namesakes played for the Dodgers, but they are all from the state of Oklahoma … as are the Flaming Lips, who have their own street intersecting Mickey Mantle Drive.
Side note: These are the names I would have chosen if someone made me street-naming czar while I was in college.
You know the saying "my way or the highway?" In Jim Thome's case, they're the same thing. Last October, the legislature of Thome's home state, Illinois, voted to renamed part of Route 24 after their favorite slugger.
It sounds so official:
Designates Illinois Route 24, beginning at the intersection of South Adams Street and Illinois Route 24 in Bartonville and ending at the intersection of Griswold Street and Route 24 in Peoria, as the "Jim Thome Highway".
It's a fitting tribute -- Thome was born in Peoria and went to Illinois Central College before being drafted by the Indians in 1989.
Sunrise Beach, MO
But not every baseball street needs the legal system to make it official. Many place-names in America come from the people who live there. Language and usage over time turn a street commonly referred to by its width into "Broadway." Such is the case when it comes to Zack Wheat Drive in Sunrise Beach, Miss.
Zack Wheat was a left fielder for the Brooklyn Superbas from 1909-26, (before they changed their name to the Dodgers), and still holds the franchise records for hits, doubles, triples, total bases, and hit-by-pitches.
He retired after the '27 season and eventually <span class="token token-hyperLink" id="token-F8FD12085F4E4A6E59391"><a href="https://mlbammail.mlb.com/owa/redir.aspx?REF=3Hi1f9TOgjzPihqu0H2Z3x71TSjcbqLO1agJq0g8_d8ak8G3uSLTCAFodHRwOi8vc2Fici5vcmcvYmlvcHJvai9wZXJzb24vYzkxNGY4MjA." target="_blank">took a winding road</a></span> through Kansas City to Sunrise Beach, Miss., where he opened a hunting and fishing resort. All of this is to say, that's how Zack Wheat Drive got its name:
It was just the name of the place that Zack Wheat lived.
But, if you want something more like Thome's official legal status, part of Missouri's Route 13 was renamed the Zack Wheat Memorial Highway in 2006.
El Paso, TX
But let's say you want to live somewhere where your baseball address opportunities are manifold. In that case, you need to check out real estate in the Cooperstown suburb of El Paso, Texas. Yes, it's called Cooperstown, and the streets look exactly like what you'd imagine a place named Cooperstown to be:
To answer your question, no, Colin Powell did not moonlight as a ballplayer at any point in his career, even though his avenue intersects Babe Ruth Street.
Need your famous cultural figures to mix with your favorite baseball players? Then head to Alameda, Calif., where you can find Willie Stargell Avenue. Stargell went to high school in Alameda, and now his namesake road runs parallel to Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London Avenues.
Happily, road length is not measured by word count. Stargell's avenue is the longest and he wrote precisely zero books. (It should also be noted that London and Stevenson combined hit zero home runs.)
If you've driven a car around the Boston area, you've probably had to take the Ted Williams Tunnel. It runs under Boston Harbor and connects South Boston to Logan International Airport, and is of course named after voiceover artist Ted Williams.
Kidding! We all know it's named after this guy:
Who says naming streets after baseball players is for America only? In 2013, a street in Montreal was named for former Expos catcher Gary Carter.
"Next week, in 50 years, in 100 years, Gary will be there," said Rodger Brulotte, a former Expos executive and a close friend of the charismatic hall of famer nicknamed "The Kid."
The street's proper name is "la rue Gary-Carter," so you'd better say it with the proper French accent.
Also in Canada is the Newfoundland town of Joe Batt's Arm. However, it is not named after Toronto's bat-flipping outfielder:
"It's not named for him," said Edmund Decker, a 72-year-old retiree and former fisherman who was born on Fogo Island [in Newfoundland]. "The name is over 200 years old."
Decker did not comment on speculation that Jose Bautista might just be an immortal.