Red Sox Are For Real!
—-By Frederick A. Hurst—-
State Representative Bud Williams introduced me to Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy at an anti-racism event that Kennedy was holding at Fenway Park with representatives of all of the Massachusetts major league sports teams. It was just one more in a series of events promoted by the Red Sox to erase the pain of its past under former owner Tom Yawkey who rejected an opportunity to sign both Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. In fact, the Red Sox were the last MLB team to sign a Black player and even Black spectators visiting Fenway were met with hostility for decades. All of that has changed and the Red Sox are committed to erasing the residual bad memories and to making Black folks feel welcome. Sam introduced us to his parents who came for the event and Bud and I enjoyed a spirited discussion with his father who was active in the Civil Rights Movement, including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Clearly, Sam is a “chip off the old block” and his sincerity is palpable. At a second meeting with Sam Kennedy in his Fenway office that lasted for what seemed pleasantly forever, Bud and I discussed ways in which the Red Sox can gain a more substantial presence in Western Massachusetts especially among African Americans. Much progress was made so stay tuned. In case you hadn’t noticed, Sam Kennedy is the gentleman at the far right in the photograph. ■