Yawkey Way name change proposed; Sox owner 'haunted' by legacy

BOSTON — The Red Sox ownership team has initiated an effort to rename Yawkey Way.

The road, which passes in front of Fenway Park, is named for former team owner Tom Yawkey, who bought the Red Sox in 1933 and owned it until his death in 1976.

In 1947, during Yawkey’s tenure, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American Major League Baseball player. Twelve years later, the Red Sox became the last team in the league to start a black player.

Current owner John Henry said he is "haunted" by Yawkey’s legacy.

"The Red Sox don't control the naming or renaming of streets," Henry said in an email to the Boston Herald. "But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can, particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully."

The Red Sox confirmed to Boston 25 News Henry’s position on the matter.

"The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived," Henry told the Herald.

Not all Red Sox fans agree with Henry's position though.

“Leave it alone, leave it alone. History is history, you can't rewrite it, you can only learn from it. Leave well enough alone," Holly Lamountain told Boston 25 News outside Fenway Park.

The problem extends beyond street signs. Yawkey's name is featured on plaques, banners and logos all around Fenway.

“The only reason we would change Yawkey Way is for Big Papi. He’s the only guy we’d change it for,” Sox fan Josie Pagliuca said.

The City of Boston has not responded to requests for comment from Boston 25 News.