Opinion

Morgantown still home for Cardinals’ Jedd Gyorko

A column by Ben Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by John Minchillo of The Associated Press Louis Cardinals' Jedd Gyorko (3) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Dan Straily in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Cincinnati.
Photo for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by John Minchillo of The Associated Press
Louis Cardinals’ Jedd Gyorko (3) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Dan Straily in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Cincinnati.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It’s now the night of game day, and it’s a little blurry and slurry in here.

Dozens of sun-fried football fans devour fried food. They slurp beer. They munch on nachos that have jalapeno peppers marinated in tequila. Hours ago, their Mountaineers beat Missouri. Now, their smartphones on low battery state that it’s 8:30 p.m. here at Kegler’s, where West Virginia fans seem to be grasping onto Saturday as it slowly slips from their grip.

The walls are decorated with autographed sports memorabilia, and over there, with a Joe Namath picture on one side and a Jack Lambert Steelers helmet on the other, is an enormous, dwarfing frame. Inside is a baseball jersey, the name GYORKO screaming across the back.

In most cities, they can’t even pronounce that, but here in Jedd’s hometown, Gyorko is part of the local vocabulary, just like saying “hometown” as “houmetown” is part of the local vernacular.

And over at the bar, that guy’s got to be related, right? His face looks just like Jedd’s, except for the West Virginia-esque bushy beard…

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