By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (Nov. 2, AP) – Joe Hamilton has helped put his hometown on the map — literally.
Alvin, S.C., a hamlet about 30 miles north of Charleston, has not been recognized on road maps issued by the South Carolina Department of Transportation since at least 1956. But highway officials say that will change on the 2000 map.
Hamilton, quarterback for No. 7 Georgia Tech and a leading Heisman Trophy contender, smiled broadly when told of the decision Tuesday.
“That’s wonderful,” he said. “My roommates and teammates are always teasing me. They’ll ask me, ‘Where’s Alvin at?’ I couldn’t show them because it’s not on the map.
“Now, I can say, ‘Look at the map. It’s right there.’ I’ll be able to point right at it.”
Hamilton’s success at Georgia Tech sparked interest in Alvin, including a feature by ABC during Saturday’s regionally televised victory over North Carolina State.
Sherwood Bridges of North Augusta, S.C., sent a letter of Gov. Jim Hodges two weeks ago complaining about the omission of Alvin from the official state map.
“Joe has put Alvin on the map but the state of South Carolina has not,” Bridges wrote. “I believe that this omission should be corrected. Please put Alvin on the map!”
The governor’s office forwarded a copy of Bridges’ letter to James Campbell, director of planning in the highway department.
“In researching this matter, our Mapping Unit personnel have determined that Alvin has not been shown on the South Carolina highway map as far back as 1956,” Campbell wrote in a letter to Bridges. “Alvin does, however, meet several of the criteria established by Mapping Unit policy for inclusion on our official maps.
“Therefore, it is my pleasure to inform you that Alvin will be shown on the 2000 South Carolina highway map, which should be available around the end of February. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”