Marc Fortier

Boston Red Sox Owner John Henry Wants to Change the Name of Yawkey Way

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry told the Boston Herald on Thursday that he wants to see the name of Yawkey Way changed.

Henry said he's "haunted" by the racist legacy of Tom Yawkey, the former owner of the Red Sox for whom the street is named. He said the team should lead the way in renaming the street outside Fenway Park, which has borne Yawkey's name for four decades.

The name change would have to be approved by the city.

Yawkey owned the Red Sox from 1933 to 1976. His widow, Jean Yawkey, and later the Yawkey Trust, owned the team from that time until 2002, when Henry purchased the team.

Under Yawkey, the Red Sox were the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate in 1959. The team also famously failed to sign Jackie Robinson following a tryout in 1945, two years before he made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Fans at Fenway had mixed reactions about the possibility of a name change and the motivations.

"I'm a Bostonian, Yawkey Way is Yawkey Way," said Liz Perry. "I think it's history, it should be Yawkey Way."

"With all that's going on in the world today, I think maybe it is a good idea," said Richard Stiebel, a longtime Red Sox fan.

Henry said he'd like to see the street named after David Ortiz, who had a smaller street near Fenway named in his honor earlier this year.

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