Troy is Brian Meadows proud

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Whoever said it's hard to be a hero in your hometown, apparently, had never been to Troy.

The Troy community has made it very easy for Brian Meadows to be hero in his hometown.

People of all ages eagerly extend congratulations to the major league baseball player. And, on Wednesday, the city of Troy raised a banner on U.S. Highway 231 to let the whole world know how proud they are of its "son."

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A crowd of family members and friends gathered at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama for the unveiling of the sign that reads: Welcome to Troy, Home of Major League Baseball's Brian Meadows.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the city has wanted, for some time, to find a way to honor Meadows for his outstanding accomplishments in Major League Baseball.

"The museum offered us space on their sign to let everyone who passes by know how proud we are of you and what you have accomplished," Lunsford said. "Very few people have gone where you have gone. What we have done today is just a small token of our appreciation for what you have accomplished."

What Meadows has accomplished is standing atop a plateau that no other Trojan has a reached.

"We have had others to play minor league baseball, but no one else has made it to the Major Leagues," said Dan Smith, director of parks and recreation for the city of Troy. "We wanted to do something to show everyone how proud Troy is to claim Brain as one of our sons."

Meadows began his career in Major League Baseball with the Florida Marlins five years ago. He now pitches for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Troy City Councilman Jason Reeves and Meadows are longtime friends. Reeves said Troy is fortunate to have someone of Meadows' character as a representative in "The Big Show."

At a time when bad publicity surrounds some athletes, Meadows' character is unquestioned, Reeves said. "Brian's character is as good as his athletic ability."

Meadows expressed appreciation for the recognition and for the support he gets from the homefolks.

"I'll keep trying and I'll keep playing," Meadows said and the crowd responded with loud applause.