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 just the "Yanks" with no home city. 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owner Dan Topping announced his intentions to join the All-America Football Conference in 1946, his NFL franchise was revoked and all of its players were assigned to the Yanks.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. 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.
The Boston Yanks are the only officially defunct NFL team ever to have the first overall NFL draft pick. They had it twice, in 1944 and 1946. Both times they selected a quarterback from the University of Notre Dame: Angelo Bertelli (1944) and Frank Dancewicz (1946). Owner Ted Collins moved his "defunct" Yanks franchise to New York in 1949, where it continued for one year as the Bulldogs and two years as the New York Yanks.