The Boston Yanks were a National Football League team based in Boston, Massachusetts that played from 1944 to 1948. The team played its home games at Fenway Park. Games that conflicted with the Boston Red Sox schedule were held at the Manning Bowl in Lynn, Massachusetts. Team owner Ted 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. Unfortunately, the Yanks 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, and styled as the Boston Yanks. The merged team played four home games in Boston and one in New York. 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Tigers owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the All-America Football Conference in 1946, his NFL team was revoked and all of its players were assigned to the Yanks.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. He asked the league to fold his Boston franchise and give a new franchise (for a tax write off). The league did that and Collins moved to New York and renamed his new team the New York Bulldogs. They played in the Polo Grounds, sharing it with the football Giants. The team was renamed the Yanks in 1950, when it moved to Yankee Stadium, adding many new players, most of them from defunct All-America Conference teams. Ted Collins sold the team back to the NFL in January 1952. The franchise was awarded to a Dallas group in 1952 and the team name became the Dallas Texans. After drawing very few fans to four games in the Cotton Bowl, the Dallas owners gave up and the NFL took the team over for the rest of the season, during which the Texans had to play all their games on the road. At the end of the season the franchise was disbanded. Finally, in January 1953, the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans were sold to Carroll Rosenbloom and the franchise was moved to Baltimore, Maryland as the Colts. Years later, the Colts moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. Baltimore later created the Ravens. Both Colts, and Ravens, are now NFL teams. Rivalry has birthed from the past, Raven fans claiming the Colts team 'left them'.
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 Bertelli (44) and Frank Dancewicz (46).
First Round draft selections
- 1944 Angelo Bertelli Back Notre Dame
- 1945 Eddie Prokop Back Georgia Tech
- 1946 Frank Dancewicz Back Notre Dame
- 1947 Fritz Barzilauskas Guard Yale
- 1948 Vaughn Mancha Center Alabama
Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Clarence "Ace" Parker
|1944||2||8||0||4th East||Herb Kopf|
|1945||3||6||1||3rd East||Herb Kopf|
|1946||2||8||1||5th East||Herb Kopf|
|1947||4||7||1||3rd East||Clipper Smith|
|1948||3||9||0||5th East||Clipper Smith|