The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on August 5, 2001 · 268
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 268

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 5, 2001
Start Free Trial

-- -- j 1 ( 1 lMMMiMl"MBMHMMMPrr I u jr i n v rrr"r -- tr ' "H 444 Providence Highway, Route 1, Dedham, MA Exit 15A, off Route 128 1 12 miles on the right. Next to Staples. (781)326-1322 t i I - V ah T cvl. r- r: in-oiucK. ratio LOW Discount Prices I SALEM. N.H. 57 So. Broadmr -Rk. 21 rm. n nwf. wr iirv. 9. m aun, lira HAMPTON. N.H. 575 UHwfff Rd Bt. 1 (w Hounj: M-F 1M: Sat t Sun. 10 l; 1 if " I iafSette. interior fashions Mid-Summer Clearance Featuring: Cast Aluminum, Wrought Iron and Teak Casual Aluminum rrom: Winston maum leiescope TrnDitone Lvon Shaw Homecrest Meadowcraft Outdoor Lifestyles O.W.Lee Kingsley Bate Shop Early for Best Selection THEl BABY UPILJACIE FURNITURE & ACCES50RIE5 We Love Babies! COMPLETE BABY STORE 50 Worcester Rd., (Rt.9) Nalick (At the Wellesley Line) (508) 653-0959 (508) 655-5305 Open Monday through Saturday 10-5:30 Wednesday & Thursday Eves, til 8:30 Sundays 12-5 I WE'RE IN THE BELL ATLANTIC YELLOW PAGES I rurmiure at ts ""'-u M ...US' a utikaita iiM)603) (964696 la J nmri (603) 929-4447 - 5 nessman sued, noting that he had offered $3 million more for the team, a court upheld Yawkey's right as a beneficiary to accept less money. It was in the midst of all this that Harrington decided to move on. "I was disillusioned by the whole transaction and wary of how it would work out," he says, glancing at the huge photos of Red Sox greats Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Carl Yastrzemski that adorn his Fenway Park office, the same one Tom Yawkey occupied for 43 years. "So I told Jean that I was going back to teaching and maybe another business to earn more money." Harrington went to work as an executive vice president at a local insurance company, but soon newly elected governor Edward J. King, another BC alum, tapped him to head the state's efforts to computerize. Harrington had worked for the state barely a year when Yawkey approached him with yet another job offer. "She called one night and said, Tm here, where are you?' " Harrington says, grinning at the memory. "I didn't know what she was talking about. It was in the evening, so I thought maybe she'd had a drink and was joking. But she explained that she had closed down Tom Yawkey's business office in New York and moved all the operations right next door to me in Dedham. So I didn't have the excuse of a long commute anymore. When she offered me a very attractive compensation package, well, I just couldn't say no." To entice Harrington to remain in her employ this time, Yawkey also offered him a small personal stake in the team. But there was a string attached: It wouldn't vest until after she died. "It was extremely generous," Harrington says. "But it was also her insurance poli cy to be sure I'd stay, since she could change her will and revoke it anytime." Harrington was back with the Old Towne Team, this time for good. Having moved her business from New York to Massachusetts, Yawkey had to change her trust, and in the process, she named Harrington her legal proxy in all matters relating to the Red Sox. But even as she relied increasingly on Harrington, her relationship with her partners, especially Le-Roux, grew strained. While Tom Yawkey had run the club as a gendeman's sport, never pushing to make a profit, LeRoux's investors clamored for a return on their investment. Jean objected to his schemes, and To entice Harrington, Jean Yawkey offered him a personal stake in the team. But there was a string attached. tensions soon broke out in the open. The nadir came on June 6, 1983, on a night meant to honor the Impossible Dream team and right fielder Tony Conigliaro, who still lay in a coma following a heart attack he had suffered the previous year. Seizing the media attention, LeRoux claimed that a majority of the team's limited partners had voted to give him control. From now on, LeRoux announced, he was in charge of the Red Sox. The reaction was equally dramatic. Sullivan and Harrington, speaking for the notoriously reclusive Yawkey, held their own press conference and declared that the Red Sox were not subject to a coup. With Harrington by Yawkey's side, she and Sullivan went to court to block the takeover. Recognizing Yawkey's dependence on Harrington, the rebels focused their sights on him. During one particularly tense meeting, a limited partner allied with LeRoux argued that since Harrington didn't own a piece of the team, he didn't belong in the room. Yawkey testily reminded them that Harrington would inherit a limited partnership stake upon her death and already had her legal proxy in all Red Sox matters. But LeRoux's side still insisted that Harrington leave the meeting. "What if he were my son? Then you couldn't object," Yawkey argued, according to two people present. "But he's not," the limited partner shot back. "Well, then, I'll just adopt him," she said imperiously. Turning to her aide, she added: "Will that be all right with you, Harrington?" For a moment, no one spoke. Then, in a gende voice that belied his power and has surprised many agents over the negotiating table, Harrington replied: "Well, Jean, my mother is still alive, so I think we'll have to consult her first." Harrington stayed in the room. A long and bitter court battle followed, during which Harrington testified in support of Yawkey for several days. Eventually, a judge ruled against LeRoux, who appealed but lost, and in 1987 Yawkey bought his stake in the team. The victory was double-edged. The court case was an embarrassing public batde that tore the team apart At the same time, Yawkey's message was unmistakable: Harrington was indeed a surrogate son. JOHN LEO HARRING-ton was the firstborn son of John Joseph Harrington and the former Catherine Quinn, Irish immigrants who married after 20

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Boston Globe
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free