Boston's Public Service Commission unanimously votes to rename Yawkey Way

Boston's Public Service Commission unanimously votes to rename Yawkey Way”

The Boston Globe, WCVB-TV, and WFXT-TV report that Boston's Public Improvement Commission voted unanimously to rename Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street.

Yawkey Way prepares for the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees on August 30, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

This most recent (and successful) effort, however, was led by Red Sox principal owner John Henry, who previous year said that he was "haunted" by Yawkey's troubling history.

Tom Yawkey deserved to have his name live on at Fenway Park.

On the Fenway Park wall on Yawkey Way a plaque is mounted honoring Thomas Yawkey
On the Fenway Park wall on Yawkey Way a plaque is mounted honoring Thomas Yawkey. Credit Jesse Costa WBUR

The vote was spurred by a petition from The Red Sox, along with business owners on Yawkey Way filed in February. Yawkey ran the Red Sox during integration, when Boston famously became the last team to field a black player - 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the barrier.

Some of Boston's most well-known power brokers, such as philanthropist Jack Connors and Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, spoke out against the street change, saying the Yawkey name - more specifically, the Yawkey Foundations - should not be tainted by a regretful but isolated period of the former team owner's history in the city. We also realize there were strong feelings in favor of renaming Yawkey Way based on that painful fact and other criticisms about the team's record concerning race and inclusivity.

The foundation thanked supporters who joined them in opposing the name change. "We can't change today's decision, but we remain hopeful that he will be remembered as the good and decent man he truly was", the Yawkey Foundations said to conclude their statement.

Yawkey owned the Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976.

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