Since 1977, Yawkey Way has been the most famous name known to millions around the country. Yawkey Way received its name after longtime owner Tom Yawkey, who died in 1976. For years his name has been placed all across the city of Boston, but with an even bigger infamous past. With the help from the President of the Red Sox, John Henry, that name may not be around for much longer.
When people think of the former owner they think about one thing, the infamous Green Monster. That is right, Mr. Yawkey made the renovations necessary to keep Fenway Park up and running. What people do not know is the dark history for the team during his tenure. His Red Sox were the last team to integrate, which did not happen until 1959. Tom even refused to consider signing Jackie Robinson in April 1945.
On April 7, 1959, Tom Yawkey and General Manager at the time Bucky Harris, were named in a lawsuit by the NAACP due to discrimination and refusing to allow African-American ball players on the Red Sox.
For the last 15 years, current owner John Henry has considered changing the name of the street, but needs the city of Boston’s correspondence to assist in the project. With the situations going on in our country now and with the Adam Jones incident that permanetly banned a fan at Fenway Park earlier this year, it seems as if the Yawkey Way’s time has come. With his timing being peculiar, Henry admits to “trying numerous times”, but saw resistence from former Mayor’s office of Thomas M. Menino. Current mayor Marty Walsh has not fully commented on this matter due to the rallies held on saturday, but expect to hear from his office within a matter of days.
Of the people who want the name change, a movement for renaming it after longtime slugger David Ortiz, seems to be the most popular choice. With more movement still needed to be done in this matter, all eyes are on Boston and the choices the team will make within the next year.