The Boston Yanks were an NFL team that played at Fenway Park from 1944 to 1948. Games that conflicted with the
Boston Red Sox schedule were held at the Manning Bowl in
Lynn, Mass. Team owner
Collins, who managed singer
Kate Smith, picked the name "Yanks" because he originally wanted to run a team that played at
New York City's
Yankee Stadium, and as a result, never won over the fans right from the beginning, because of his love for the New York Yankees.
The green and gold team colors were not picked as a tribute to Boston’s Irish heritage, but because of his love for the Irish from Notre Dame. The team never had the class of the New York Yankees, nor the appeal of Notre Dame’s Fighting
Irish and could only manage a 2-8 record during its first regular season.
Because of a shortage of players caused by
World War II, the Yanks were merged with the Brooklyn Tigers for the 1945 season. The
merged team played four home games in Boston and one at Yankee Stadium. But fans from neither city cared as they finished with a 3-6-1 record. When Brooklyn Tigers owner
Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the All-America Football Conference in 1946, his NFL
franchise was revoked and all of its players were assigned to the Yanks.
After three continuous losing seasons, Collins finally was allowed to move to New York in 1949. But instead of an official relocation, he asked the league to officially fold his Boston franchise and give him a new franchise,
for a tax write off. The league granted his request, and Collins named his new team the
New York Bulldogs and played their home games at the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants.
The All-America Football Conference merged with the NFL following the 1949 season. Their New York Yankees team merged with the New York Bulldogs and were renamed the New York Yanks for the 1950 season. The
New York Yanks were not a success and the team declared bankruptcy following the 1951 season. The league took over the team and moved them to Dallas for the 1952 season, renaming the franchise the Dallas Texans.
On January 23,1953 the franchise was sold to Carroll Rosenbloom who moved them to Baltimore and named them the Colts to replace the old Baltimore Colts, one of the teams from the All-American Football Conference that was
absorbed unsuccessfully into the NFL for the 1950 and 1951 seasons. The new Baltimore Colts kept the present day uniform blue and white colors of the Dallas Texans.
The Colts remained in Baltimore until 1984 when they were moved to Indianapolis. The
Boston Yanks are the only defunct NFL team ever to have the first overall NFL draft pick. They had it twice in 1944 and 46. Both times they selected a
quarterback from the University of Notre Dame: Angelo