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Kevin Youkilis

Kevin Youkilis

MLB (retired)
Full Name Kevin Edmund Youkilis
Nicknames Youk
Date of Birth 03/15/1979
BirthplaceCincinnati, OH
Religion Jewish
Height 6'1
Weight 220
Bats/Throws R/R
Drafted Red Sox
Draft Round8
Overall Pick243
MLB Debut 05/15/2004

Career highlights (through 2011)

  • Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 8th round of the 2001 draft (243rd overall)
  • Went 2-for-4 with HR in major-league debut with Red Sox (2004)
  • Three-time MLB All-Star (2008, 2009, 2011)
  • Gold Glove winner, 1B (2007)
  • Named winner of A.L. Hank Aaron Award in 2008, an annual honor bestowed by Hall of Fame panel as well as fans to each league’s best hitter
  • Finished #3 in voting for A.L. Most Valuable Player in 2008, and #6 in 2009
  • Hit .388 with four home runs and 9 walks in the 2007 postseason
  • Through 2011 season, Youk was hitting .328 (and had a .436 on-base percentage) with runners in scoring position
  • Dubbed the “Greek God of Walks” in Moneyball, a book by Michael Lewis

MLB career bests, by statistic

  • AVG: .312 (2008)
  • 2B: 43 (2008)
  • 3B: 5 (2010)
  • HR: 29 (2008)
  • RBI: 115 (2008)
  • BB: 91 (2006)
  • OBP: .413 (2009)
  • SLG: .569 (2008)
  • At bats per home run: 18.2 (2009)
  • Hitting streak: 23 games (2007)

2011 highlights

  • MLB executives polled by Sporting News magazine named Youkilis one of the 50 greatest current players in baseball
  • Went 1-for-1 in the 2011 All-Star game, his 3rd All-Star appearance
  • Although Youk was among league leaders in multiple offensive statistics at the All-Star break, injuries limited him to 37 games afterward. He was batting .285 at the break but hit just .199 in the second half of the season
  • Was among best-fielding third baseman, even though he played 1B in 2011
  • 3rd in times hit by pitch, AL (14)
  • 3rd in 3B fielding percentage, AL (.967)
  • 4th in putouts at 3B, AL (87)

2010 highlights

  • Limited by injuries to a career-low 102 games
  • 3rd in adjusted batting wins, AL (3.1)
  • 3rd in 1B fielding percentage, AL (.997)
  • 9th in triples (5)
  • 10th in times hit by pitch (10)

2009 highlights

  • 2nd in on-base percentage, AL (.413)
  • 3rd in multi-homer games, AL (4)
  • 4th in batting with runners in scoring position, AL (.362)
  • 4th in times hit by pitch, AL (16)
  • 5th in slugging percentage, AL (.548)
  • 6th in batting average, AL (.312)
  • Named to All-Star Team, AL
  • Received five-game suspension for charging pitcher after being struck by pitch
  • Hit .381 with two outs and players in scoring position

On being Jewish

  • Though “Youkilis” may be a Greek name, Kevin Youkilis and his family are Romanian, and their original name is Weiner. “The Youk cheer ­wouldn’t be quite as much fun were it not for a resourceful Jewish ancestor of Youkilis’s who nearly a century and a half ago escaped Cossack persecution in Romania. He ensured that Boston fans wanting to salute their first baseman ­wouldn’t have to stand and chant ­‘Weiner!,’ which, except for a few hot dog vendors, no one wants to do at a baseball game…Youkilis’ family history reads like a Michael Chabon novel: In 19th-century Romania males were ­conscripted into the military when they reached their 16th birthday. The Cossacks in the ­region ­weren’t known for their tolerance of minorities, so many Jews tried to avoid enlisting in the army. Youkilis’s great-great-great-grandfather — nobody is sure what his first name was, but the family name was Weiner (pronounced Winer, actually) — escaped to Greece, where the family had friends. After a year or two, according to family lore, he became homesick and returned to ­Romania, but in order to avoid the army, or jail, he passed himself off as a Greek by assuming the name Youkilis.” (Sports Illustrated; Oct. 19, 2007)
  • Youkilis runs a charity called Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids. “In my religion, the Jewish religion, that’s one of the biggest things that’s taught, is giving a mitzvah, forming a mitzvah,” said Youkilis. “I was always taught as a kid giving to charity. You’re supposed to give a good amount of charity each and every year. That probably started in my youth. I just like to help out kids who are really struggling.” (; Mar. 3, 2008)
  • Youkilis “is not hesitant to joe about his background with fellow Jewish players. ‘He’ll throw little comments at me every once in a while if I reach first while he’s playing,’” said fellow Jew Ian Kinsler. “’He’ll just say, ‘Happy Passover,’ or something stupid like that. He’s pretty into it.’” (Bloomberg News; July 5, 2009)
  • On Aug. 8, 2005, Youkilis and two other Jews then with the Boston Red Sox – Gabe Kapler and Adam Stern – all took the field during the ninth inning. It was the most Jewish players on the field at once since the New York Giants put four in the lineup once in 1941. (Jewish Tribune, Ontario, Can.; Sept. 29, 2005)

For more information


Career Batting

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