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Yawkey Way renamed? Red Sox want city to change it back to ‘Jersey Street’

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Controversy surrounds namesake

Ken Curtis/Flickr

The Boston Red Sox have asked the City of Boston to rename Yawkey Way as Jersey Way.

That was the previous name of the street beside Fenway Park that becomes a veritable carnival on game days.

It was renamed Yawkey Way in 1977, a year after Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey died.

Yawkey controlled the Sox from 1933 until his death. Under his ownership, the team was the last in Major League Baseball to 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 (though the individual has never been conclusively identified).

Calls to rename Yawkey Way arose last summer following the deadly mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia, that white supremacists sparked over a statue of Robert E. Lee and the subsequent imbroglio over Confederate monuments.

On January 18 of this year, Red Sox President Sam Kennedy told a press conference that the renaming seemed imminent, with “Jersey Street” a definite option. Red Sox owner John Henry spurred the move originally.

It is now up to the city. Stay tuned.