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Red Sox Yawkey Way: Team Asks City to Restore Original Jersey Street Name

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By    |   Friday, 02 March 2018 07:34 AM

The Boston Red Sox have asked city officials to remove the name Yawkey Way, which honors former team owner Tom Yawkey, from the street adjacent to one side of the famed Fenway Park.

The Red Sox, under Yawkey's ownership, was the last Major League club to integrate, naming its first black player in 1959 after denying Jackie Robinson a tryout in 1945, the Boston Herald reported. Robinson would go on to break the Major League color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Yawkey owned the Red Sox from 1933 to 1976, according to Fox News, and Jersey Street outside the ballpark was renamed Yawkey Way in 1977.

"Restoring the Jersey Street name is intended to reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all," the Red Sox said in a statement as the team submitted a petition to the Boston Public Improvement Commission requesting that Yawkey Way be renamed Jersey Street.

The Yawkey Foundation, the charitable organization created by Yawkey in his will, has asked the commission to reject the name change at its March 15 meeting, Fox News reported.

"Former Red Sox ballplayers and club officials who knew Tom Yawkey have stated many times that he treated every player the same, regardless of their race," the foundation said in a statement. "He also took an interest in their families and personal lives, and always gave them the support they needed, especially during difficult times.

"And he fielded diverse teams during the 1960s and 1970s, at a time when many of Boston's institutions had yet to make meaningful progress in hiring minorities," the foundation continued.

The Red Sox current principal owner John Henry told the Herald last year that he was "haunted" by Yawkey's racist legacy with the ballclub. The Red Sox said the name change is not meant to be a knock against the Yawkey Foundation, the newspaper reported.

"It is important to separate the unfortunate and undeniable history of the Red Sox with regards to race and integration from the incredible charitable work the Yawkey Foundation has accomplished in this millennium and over the last 16 years," the team said in its statement, the Herald noted.

"The positive impact they have had, and continue to have, in hospitals, on education programs, and with underserved communities throughout Boston and New England, is admirable and enduring. We have the utmost respect for their mission, leadership, and the institutions they support," the statement continued.

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The Boston Red Sox have asked city officials to remove the name Yawkey Way, which honors former team owner Tom Yawkey, from the street adjacent to one side of the famed Fenway Park.
red sox, yawkey way, renamed, jersey street
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2018-34-02
Friday, 02 March 2018 07:34 AM
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