Sox ask Boston to change name of Yawkey Way back to Jersey Street

The Herald reports.

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Well, then!

I wish that idiot Henry had just done this in the first place and spared us the insipid and insulting series on race the idiots at the Globe can't stop patting themselves on the back over.

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...

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A lot of those folks on the Spotlight Team that did that series are people of color. Labeling them all as idiots is a pretty regrettable look, at best.

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Not at all...

How many of those people of color actually grew up here and experienced the racism this city hides so well occasionally? And tell me how many people of color are in those self congratulating ads the Globe does touting the Spotlight team featuring the all white cast of the movie that they can't shut the fuck up about?

And finally, point out the people of color in the management and editorial leadership of the lily white Globe?

I'll wait.

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What difference does it make if they grew up here?

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It doesn't. If they experience racism, no matter the time frame, it's relevant.

Also dumb is the notion that the racism here is well hidden. Some of it is, sure, but plenty of it is in plain sight, and the coverage in journalism (and popular media) reflects that rather well.

And I strongly reject the notion that because the Globe doesn't have non-white people in all corners of the organization where you deem it appropriate means it's cool to automatically belittle the entire organization. That's a slippery slope if I've ever seen one.

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Right. Sure.

Let’s all talk about the collective experiences of people of color that didn’t live through the busing and work for a paper that again, can’t stop patting themselves on the back for being woke while the management is all white and the owner still allows his players to appear on racist sports radio, because you know, go Sox?

And speaking of local media and the way they address the systemic racism in this town, tell me then, how do Howie Carr and the scumbags at WEEI still have jobs?

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So you're blaming the people who work for the Globe

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Of getting paid? Why let the perfect be the enemy of the good, exactly? Or better yet, why don't you ask them rather than project your version of what's the most just thing to do?

Not sure about WEEI or Howie Carr, but I'm right there with you on them.

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Funny you should say that...

When I raised the exact same subject with most of the Globe Spotlight team about this on Twitter, they were remarkably silent. Todd Wallack, for one, still can't answer me about his experiences with racism.

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OTOH

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What exactly did you want him to say? It sounds like you had an expected response from him. If you're asking them with some ill intention behind it, I don't think I'd blame them for not engaging.

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Well...

As is said to Wallack in regard to his strange inability to answer a couple of questions, who would have thought it was this tough to get an answer out of a fucking reporter?

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Dude, what are you talking

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Dude, what are you talking about?
Also, have you ever experienced racism?

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Neutral = good

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I wasn't in favor of giving it "new" name, but it's old non-controversial name is just fine.

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I was on the fence about Jersey St

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Until I heard an old Yale dude with a Red Sox hat give a rant about the team and the street. It would have made the alt-right blush. Good move Sox

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Alphabetical grid cross streets of Back Bay/Fenway area...

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Alphabetical grid cross streets of Back Bay/Fenway area...

Arlington Street
Berkeley Street
Clarendon Street
Dartmouth Street
Exeter Street
Fairfield Street
Gloucester Street
Hereford Street

Ipswich Street
Jersey Street
Kilmarnock Street

Lansdowne Street

Massachusetts Avenue

Norway Street
Overland Street
Park Drive
Queensberry Street
Ruggles Street
Symphony Road
Tetlow Street
U... ?
V... ?
Westland Avenue
X... ?
Yawkey Way
Z... ?

https://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/streetbook/streetbook_04262016.pdf

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Get a map

Fenway =/= the Back Bay.

I'd think you'd be up to speed on things which are clearly delineated in an established published form.

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True, but

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Jersey and Kilmarnock were named as part of the naming convention. Landsdown breaks the sequence and Ipswich begins in the Back Bay.

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It’s Alphabetical for Non-Arterial Streets That Cross Boylston

Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, Hereford, Ipswich, Jersey, Kilmarnock, Longwood

They are all are or at one point British Baronies.

Massachusetts Ave and The Fenway are excepted owing to the original intent of their design. I don’t count Park Drive because originally the entire road around The Fens was called The Fenway.

As far as the naming scheme goes, the Back Bay and the Fenway were planned together. Later development skewed what we think of Back Bay development towards Bay State Road instead.

Other places with common names; Dorchester Heights in SB has Gates Street, Thomas Park, Mercer Street, and Knowlton Street. All high ranking War Of Independence officers who served under Washington. Dorchester Heights / Telegraph Hill was also known as Mount Washington at the time the streets were laid out.

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Correct

It is the next cross street of the original layout of The Fens however

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It's a photo, friend

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I think it's just displayed as the color it is, if you catch me.

If your need is great, you can always do a "Save image as..." and then adjust it offline using the image/photo editing app of your choice (I typically use GraphicConverter for stuff like that, fwiw.)

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Park Drive was originally

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Park Drive was originally named Audubon Road. The "P" street is Peterborough.

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After Hereford it all goes to pot.

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Next up is Mass Ave, which was originally called West Chester Park. The naming of the Back Bay streets came before the annexation of the Brookline Marshes (everything west of the Muddy), which were, yes, a bunch of tidal marshes that we now call The Fens. Somehow urban planning in the 19th century failed to allow for neurosis of the 21st. Good thing this is all completely meaningless.

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Meh, they should have called

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Meh, they should have called it Old Jersey Street, just so it didn't have a relation to New Jersey.

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Next Stop

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Yawkey Way Station. After that onward to Lechmere station and several others named after slave owners who were a lot more sinister than Tom Yawkey.

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Progress

One down ...

It would not surprise me if Lechemere gets renamed to North Point when the station moves in a few years.

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Noooooooooo!!!

The last vestige of that hallowed institution will not be taken from me!

This aggression will not stand, man!

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The store was named after the

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The store was named after the place. Ultimately the name comes from Richard Lechmere, who owned all the land in that area back in colonial times. That said, he was apparently a lousy guy in most respects so maybe it’s for the best.

OTOH, if you want to rename it after someone with a connection to the neighborhood who is better thought of, why not Edwin Land?

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Well aware of the history of the man

And did the many, many people like my parents that made me sit outside of that loading dock waiting for them to come out with the bargains. Lechmere's the store was not the hotbed of racism that Fenway Park is.

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New Station

They're building a new station in a slightly different location as part of GLX

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Seriously??

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I don't tolerate racism at all, but this generation is just getting out of hand. IT'S A STREET NAME!! EVERY OTHER WHITE PERSON was racist in Boston pre 1980. It's not something to be proud of, but it's part of history & it happened. GET OVER IT. Next thing you know Millenial's are going to be looking to change the name of Disney World. What the hell doesn't offend people anymore?!?!

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Seriously??

Why do you care if they want to change the street name? They are changing it back to what it used to be. It shouldn't have been changed in the first place.

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I don't know...

When I lived in the Bunker Hill projects in the eighties, everyone was a racist.

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You, Too?

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You did say "everyone" :-)

My only point was that a sweeping generalization of EVERY WHITE PERSON in Boston pre-1980 being racist is as abominable as insulting any other group by saying they ALL do such-and-such. If nothing else, it at least tends to weaken an argument. As soon as I see something like that, I pretty much feel I can discount anything else being said.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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You're right

Maybe not everyone.

There was one black kid who still lived in the projects during the "troubles". He was accepted pretty much by the locals because of his grandparents who lived there since back in the day and never bothered anyone and the old townies liked them. The poor kid did have to dress in a Barracuta coat and Scally cap to fit in though. I don't think he was racist.

Then there was Mayra. She was a Cuban girl that one of the local bank robbers fell in love with and had a kid with. He had to nail the door of her apartment once to keep her from running out to get more dust, but then she ended up jumping from a second story window to score anyways.I don't think she was a racist.

Pretty much everyone else was racist, though.The most hated things back then were the niggers and the liberals, because it was the liberals that brought the niggers, as the saying went.

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Pro Tip

Head to the library for some useful texts on how to use apostrophes and appropriate use of ampersands.

Next up - take a look at who is running the Red Sox these days. Unlike Hope Hicks, they aren't millennials. This has been a concern since the origins of the curse in the business practices of the Yawkey family came to light while most millennials were just getting their first gloves.

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You're right

The new owners aren't millennials. They're just married to them.

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You mean Linda?

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She's not a millenial. Not by a longshot.

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I give up. What does Hope

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I give up. What does Hope Hicks have to do with Boston street names?

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There's a difference between recognizing Boston's

racist history and continuing to name a street in honor of a notorious racist. You probably did some awfully dumb things in your youth: I expect you've learned that just because you once did, you don't need to keep doing them.

(And I know it's popular to bash millennials as delicate snowflakes, but I am grateful that some of them are stepping up and speaking out against the idiocies of their elders. Lord knows we olds don't seem to be much inclined to clean up many of the messes we've made.)

Crude generational stereotypes aside, consider what the late 50s / early 60s Sox might have accomplished had they not been the last team in the majors to integrate. That hateful Neanderthal of an owner had a shot at signing Jackie Robinson, FFS. Even if you're not a Sox fan, you should be cheering this move. This long-time Fenway half-season ticket holder is.

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Notorious racist?

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Not to his biographer and players who played for him. Do you have any proof he hated black people?

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Racist

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Yawkey biographer Bill Nowlin in 2018: “In his [Yawkey’s] heart, was he really racist or wasn’t he? There is no indication that he was.”
“The thing that bothers me about it, though, is that try as hard as I could to find true instances of personal racism on his part, I could never find that, and almost as though he is being blamed for – Yawkey is being blamed for something that maybe he wasn’t guilty of.”
Bill Nowlin – Author of “Tom Yawkey – Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox” (2018)

From the Boston Globe on July 29, 1979
Quote from George Scott, an African-American Red Sox player in the 1960’s and 1970’s:
“I’d been born and raised in the South and I’d had tough times before. But I also realized that to get anything you had to run into the right kind of person who would accept you regardless of the color of your skin.”
[The late Tom Yawkey, the former Red Sox owner, was the right kind of person, said Scott.]
“He [Tom Yawkey] was one of the greatest men I’d ever met in my life.”
“If he was prejudiced in any way towards the black ballplayer, I did not detect it. I think if you ask Reggie [Smith] and some of the other guys, they’d tell you the same thing. He treated me well from the day I came to the Red Sox until the day I left. How a man treats you is all that matters, anyway.”
- George Scott

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Oh Look

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Someone has a couple of black friends who say nice things!

Tell it to all the Negro League players that Yawkey refused to draft.

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Let me get this straight: you don't believe

Yawkey was a racist? Yikes.

Deeds, not words: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/sports/baseball/red-sox-thomas-yawkey...

Quoting: "The Red Sox were the final team to integrate, promoting infielder Pumpsie Green to the majors in 1959. That was a dozen years after Jackie Robinson had joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, and nine after Sam Jethroe had joined the Boston Braves and won the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award.

By 1959, even the local N.H.L. team, the Bruins, had employed a black player, Willie O’Ree. But not the Red Sox. As Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Elston Howard helped their teams win championships in the 1950s, the Red Sox — with Ted Williams in his later prime — never finished first during that decade.

The Red Sox tried out Robinson at Fenway Park in 1945 and rejected him. A Boston scout, George Digby, arranged to buy Mays from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues for $4,500. Yawkey and the general manager, Joe Cronin, refused.

'We could have had Mays in center and Williams in left' Digby told The Boston Globe in 2005. 'Cronin sent another scout down to look at him, but Yawkey and Cronin already had made up their minds they weren’t going to take any black players.'"

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Let me see

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if you can put your immense intellect and know-it-allness under cover for just a bit and read and ponder these two tidbits from the article:

"The cardinal joins Ray Hammond, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, and a trustee of the Yawkey Foundation II, which was founded by Yawkey's widow, Jean. At the hearing, Hammond said the narrative that Yawkey was a racist was false."

and

"I personally saw a change in Mr. Yawkey, from the 1966 season, '67 season, '68 season, when our team now became integrated, with wonderful players like Elston Howard, who he traded for, Jose Tartabull, Reggie Smith, Joe Foy, George Scott, all teammates of mine," he said."

http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/03/16/debate-changing-yawkey-way

And try to respond without insulting folks, MC, which it appears you do on a fairly regular basis.

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Another anecdote

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When I was in college I tended bar in a hotel bar near Kenmore Square. A group of guys associated with the Bristol Red Sox would come up for weekends to go to games, stay in the hotel, and drink in my bar. Sometimes they wouldn’t bother to go to the games, but would just watch them on the large-screen tv in the bar. And drink.

One night the manager of the Bristol Red Sox stayed by himself after the others had gone to bed, and he got pretty sloppy and morose. The thing I remember best is him saying that “Mr. Yawkey never wanted no niggers in his team.” Of course like your anecdotes that was just one guy’s perception, but at least he wasn’t saying it for publication.

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Notorious revisionists

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They like their select truthy quotes.

The reality is that the Yawkey Family refused to draft anyone out of the Negro Leagues until very very late in the desegregation era.

Full stop.

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John Henry is not a millenial

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John Henry is not a millenial. He's not even Gen x. He's a Republican, so you cant blame it on political party either.

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Oh boy...

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the racist and/or ignorant sportsball fans are going to crying and whining for years now.

SteveGrif kicked it off.

- Go Philly Eagles!
- Go City of Boston (Higher Education, Life Sciences, Culture, Finance, Healthcare, BioTech)!

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Yawkey Way banners

They have '47 on them. What is the significance of that year in Red Sox history? 1946 was a pennant, 1948 was a near-miss, but I don't know what they are commemorating for 1947.

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Back to the topic at hand.....

I get a chuckle at the Yawkey foundation's response to the proposed name change.

He need only look at the Globe’s archives to see that team under Tom Yawkey sought to acquire and promote black ballplayers throughout the 1950s.

What, "I have black friends" wasn't good enough to use so they had to come up with this?

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What about later?

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It's reasonable to conclude that Yawkey was a racist in the 40's and 50's, when the Sox rejected Robinson and Mays and became the last MLB team to integrate.

But what about afterwards? People are capable of change. Red Barber, the Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Dodgers, grew up in the segregated South and very nearly resigned when he was told that the Dodgers would bring Jackie Robinson to the majors. His wife talked him out of it, and he realized he was wrong, and eventually became one of Robinson's biggest backers.

I can't say for sure that Yawkey repented, though testimony from some of the Blacks who played for the Sox in the 60's and 70's indicate that he might have. And if he did, would that be worthy of honor?

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More Involved Than Just Fenway

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Yawkey's charitable works are well-known and plentiful. It's reasonable to argue that even if all of the racism charges are true, he did way more good for the city than bad. I'd guess more lives have been saved, by his contributions to medical facilities, than the relative handful of players he wronged by not drafting them.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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Jimmy Fund

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Jimmy Fund (and therefore Dana Farber) involvement by Tom Yawkey dates to the early 1950s, and accounted for millions of dollars toward cancer research and facilities. Agganis Foundation scholarships likewise began in the 50s. There were other less noteworthy endeavors that he undertook both prior and subsequently.

Even if much work was done after his passing, it is considerable and worthy of remembrance. How about at least renaming the street "JEAN Yawkey Way"?

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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I'm glad he supported charities while he was

alive, but Jean deserves most of the credit: almost all of his fortune was donated after Tom's death in 1976, including the funding of the cancer care center at Dana-Farber and ambulatory care unit at Boston Medical Center.

I'd be okay with Jean Yawkey Way.

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Sorry, Suldog

Where I come from, money does not erase a racist past.
Add to that, you might want to take a peek at this.

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/02/13/boston-philanthropy-closed-lit...

It states a little known fact about John Harrington, the former GM of the Sox who had his own brush with racism in the past. Harrington was only supposed to run the Yawkey Foundation for one year, but is still there, sending letters defending the racist past of his continued benefactors.

Getting the picture here?

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Never Said That It Erased It

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I appreciate your point. I was only saying, on balance, he may have done more good than bad, and if someone ignores that when making an argument, it's disingenuous.

I assume, in this climate, the change is a fait accompli. He's dead, so it matters not a whit to him. As for me, it was Jersey Street when I went to Fenway as a kid; doesn't really matter much either way, as far as I'm concerned, beyond a desire to see that good is not ignored in a headlong rush to condemn the bad.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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Yeah, that page on the Yawkey Foundation

site that attempts to whitewash Tom's history is pretty feeble.

I feel Brian's point: "He was an awful mofo, but at least his wife spent a lot of his $500M fortune doing good after he was dead" is something, but it's not enough these days to continue to honor him.

It might have helped if he'd owned up later in life to how dumb it was to let his racial prejudice trump his winning instincts for 15 years. He was admired / derided in his time for not being afraid to take a flyer on and overpay his player and staff picks. The might-have-beens purely in baseball terms are pretty trenchant: an earlier-integrated Sox team might have built a 50s-to-60s dynasty like the Yankees. The Curse shouldn't be attributed to the Frazee trade of Ruth, but to Yawkey.

He did nothing when he had the chance late in life to express regret for his racism. Jean was responsible for most of the good that came from his business success, which a $40M inheritance gave him a big head start on. I can't give him a pass on that.

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Meh.

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As far as most younger Sox fans are concerned, "Yawkey" is just a label associated with Fenway Park. Until a year ago, I didn't even know it was named for a person. "Jersey" probably won't be as distinctive.

But if anything in Boston is worthy of un-honoring, isn't it Columbus, who didn't merely not-hire black men to play a kids' game, but enslaved and murdered them? The city can rededicate Columbus Park any time it wants. And how is Columbus Day still an official city holiday?

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Columbus

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enslaved and murdered black men? I know he did his share of enslaving and murdering, but I think you have your continents mixed up. One size fits all, I guess.

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Columbus

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I heard some town (Cambridge?) didn't want to do Columbus Day b/c of what Columbus did. Only a matter of time before Presidents Day is protested, since we are celebrating Trump on Presidents Day.

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