Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Saturday, July 26, 2008
WHY ARE THE YAWKEYS LOVED IN BOSTON???
Oh... you will hear lots of great things about Tom Yawkey and the Yawkey family in Boston. Tom owned the Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976. His wife ran the team until she died in 1992 and the family continued running it until 2002. The city of Boston named one of the streets adjacent to Fenway after them. You will also hear about how lavishly Tom spent on players, raided small markets for superstars like Jimmy Foxx and Lefty Grove. And you hear how beloved he was and how badly he wanted to win a title for the city of Boston.
And you can equate all of that with the substance pushed out of a bull's rectum.
Tom Yawkey and the Yawkey family did more to ruin the Red Sox than anyone and the greatest thing to ever happen to my team ridding themselves of the Yawkey stench.
They should change "Yawkey Way" back to "Jersey Street."
Anyone notice the vast bulk of the 86 year title drought was under the Yawkey watch? Anyone notice that passion to bring a title to Boston failed EVERY SINGLE YEAR this family owned the team?
And oh yeah... anyone notice that desire to win in Boston included a caveat... make sure the team remains lily white?
The Red Sox had the first chance to sign Jackie Robinson... and passed. Instead of being the first team to integrate, they became the last with utility infielder Pumpsie Green.
And I'm not just talking about social justice here. I'm talking about tanking the team! The Red Sox could have signed Willie Mays. They passed because he wasn't their "type of player." Yeah, they couldn't squeeze in the greatest player of all time. It might mean benching Clyde Vollmer.
Yawkey would do ANYTHING to win a title... except sign Hank Aaron.
So all through the 1950s and 1960s the Red Sox didn't sniff a single pennant race and attendance dropped... but thank GOD they passed on Ernie Banks!
And don't think this is isolated to the distant past. Coach Tommy Harper filed and WON a racial discrimination suit in 1985! There are still players playing from that year.
And the stigma of racial tension went all the way through the early 1990s. Ask Jim Rice how fun it was being sometimes the only black player on the team. Remember how quickly they dumped players like Don Baylor, Lee Smith and Ellis Burks?
And that doesn't even mention Latin America. When other teams were raiding the Caribbean for infielders, the Sox gamely trotted out the Glenn Hoffmans, Spike Owens and Jody Reeds of the world. When Dan Duquette came to Boston in 1993, he was stunned to find out the Sox didn't have a single scout in the Domincan.
Only after Mrs. Yawkey's death in 1992 did minority players start to flourish on the Red Sox. First with Mo Vaughn. Then with Pedro Martinez. Then the team was owned by someone other than the Yawkeys in 2002... and in 2 short years Henry delivered the title Tom Yawkey couldn't buy.
They were led by a trio of black Domincan players: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez.
No doubt Yawkey would have labeled them "not my type of players."