Virginia town moves to change its name to 'Stephen Strasburg'

Maybe the citizens of Strasburg, Va., haven't heard about the softening ticket market for Stephen Strasburg's(notes) debut on Tuesday, because this action seems rash if they're doing it to get into the game.

OK, they're not really doing it to get into the game, but an excited group from the town of 6,200 people wants it to be renamed "Stephen Strasburg" for one week next year. (The town of Strasburg is about 70 miles from our nation's capitol.) The movement already has a website ( and an accompanying Facebook group of 19 members.

[Photos: See Stephen Strasburg in action]

Meanwhile, BLS just spoke with 21-year-old town council member Justin Ritenour, a member of the group, and he says the town is gung-ho on this Joe Montana-type deal. The council will meet on Tuesday night — the same day as Strasburg's big league debut with the Washington Nationals — to pass an already-drafted resolution that would include renaming the town "Stephen Strasburg" for a week during the town's 250th birthday celebration in 2011.

Ritenour says he's "not only confident, but excited" that the measure will pass.

"I've been following Strasburg a lot more than I have the Nationals," Ritenour said. "I really identify with him since I'm 21 years old myself. What he's already done and achieved is remarkable."

Here's the group's listed pitch from its website:

1. On June 8, 2010 the town of Strasburg, Va. plans to honor Stephen with a "Pride of Strasburg Recognition" Award.

2. The Strasburg town council will also draft a resolution to rename the town "Stephen Strasburg, Virginia" ...

3. Upon which the newly named town would welcome Stephen into town on the back of a firetruck and honor him with a welcoming parade and police escort.

4. We also invite Mr. Strasburg to throw out the first pitch to our new traveling little league team which would henceforth be known as the "Stephen" Strasburgs.

All in all, not a bad haul for the much-hyped prospect, though not even Brien Taylor, Ben McDonald or Mark Prior(notes) had to deal with the added pressure of shouldering a namesake town. Hopefully, Strasburg will be able to handle the burden of such local hype.

Also — and I'm getting ahead of myself, here — if they succeed on this, what's to stop the creation of "Bryce" Harpers Ferry in a few years? Think of all those history books that would need revision.

Big BLS H/N: DC Sports Bog

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