State transportation officials say they will “follow the lead” of Boston and rename the Yawkey commuter-rail station if city officials first change the name of nearby Yawkey Way just outside of Fenway Park.
Both are named for the late Tom Yawkey, who owned the Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976. Under his ownership, the team was the last in Major League Baseball to racially integrate—in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson pioneered the process with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Yawkey himself is said to have screamed a racial epithet at Robinson during a tryout at Fenway in 1945.
Given the recent tumult due to removals of Confederate monuments, the Red Sox’s ownership in particular felt it had to act—principal owner John Henry has said he’s “haunted” by Yawkey’s legacy.
The city has signaled it is not averse to changing Yawkey Way’s name (nor to removing Morse code from Fenway’s left-field wall that spells out the initials of Yawkey and his wife).
So, if the city and the Sox (and abutting property owners) move on Yawkey Way, the state will move on Yawkey Station. Stay tuned.
- Yawkey T stop could be renamed if street changes [Herald]
- Yawkey initials in Fenway Park not a priority for the Red Sox [Curbed Boston]
- Yawkey Way renaming: Red Sox not opposed to change just outside of Fenway Park [Curbed Boston]
- Massachusetts’ Confederate memorial is the only one in New England [Curbed Boston]