Yawkey Way was formerly known as Jersey Street extension until one year after the death of Baseball Hall of Famer, Tom Yawkey. The street name was changed in order to honor the man who had control of the team for 43 years, one year after his death.
But with the current out-cry of racism going on in America, current owner, John Henry stated in an email to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he is “still haunted” by the actions of his predecessor, Tom Yawkey’s actions involving racism and is open to a renaming of the street.
The Boston Red Sox were the last team in all of baseball to integrate in 1959 which came 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier.
Even after the Sox did integrate, there were still racial tensions in the clubhouse and front office.
The opportunity arose to sign Willie Mays to years after the initial integration of the sport, but we all know what happened there.
“We ought to be able to lead the effort and if others in the community favor a change, we would welcome it – particularly in light of the country’s current leadership stance with regard to intolerance,” Henry said.
If it were entirely Henry’s decision, he would be happy use “David Ortiz Way” or “Big Papi Way” as a street name.
But this is not all his decision, it is up to the two abutters on the street.
The Henry’s and the d’Angelo’s are the two required signatures to petition a change, as they are the only abutters with adresses on Yawkey Way. Bobby d’Angelo has said to John Henry that a re-naming would “not be a big deal at all.”
If the petition does move forward, it would then have to go to the Public Improvement Commission for a hearing to consider a change.
Featured Image Credit- Boston Globe