The city of Boston’s Public Improvement Commission unanimously approved a proposal by current Red Sox ownership to change the name of the street outside Fenway Park.
So as of yesterday, the stretch of road formerly called Yawkey Way—after the team’s former owner Tom Yawkey—will now be changed to Jersey Street.
In any case, that will be the new name—which is actually the old name as that is what it was originally called before it was changed in 1977 to honor Yawkey the year after he died.
Problem is that while he was alive he did things that weren’t honorable at all—at least according to the Boston officials who pushed the change citing allegations the former Red Sox owner was a racist who resisted hiring black ballplayers in the 1940s and ‘50s.
The vote drew immediate condemnation from the Yawkey Foundations, the charity named for Yawkey and his wife, Jean.
"As we have said throughout this process, the effort to expunge Tom Yawkey's name has been based on a false narrative about his life and his historic 43-year ownership of the Red Sox," the organization said.
One narrative that cannot be disputed is the fact the Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball franchise to field a black player, when infielder Pumpsie Green was called up in 1959—12 years after Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers—and that Yawkey owned the Red Sox from 1933 until 1976.
Hmmm… maybe Yawkey was just bad at recognizing talent. Who would have thought making something more “Jersey” in Boston would be such a positive change!