Kevin Edmund Youkilis (/ˈjuːkəlɪs/; born March 15, 1979), also known as "Youk" /ˈjuːk/, is an American former professional baseball first baseman and third baseman. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2001, after playing college baseball at the University of Cincinnati. He played in the major leagues for the Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox, and the New York Yankees. He is currently a special assistant to the Chicago Cubs and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.
Known for his ability to get on base, while he was still a minor leaguer Youkilis (whose surname is of Greek origin) was nicknamed Euclis: The Greek God of Walks in the best-selling book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. A Gold Glove Award-winning first baseman, he once held baseball's record for most consecutive errorless games at first base (later broken by Casey Kotchman). He is also a three-time MLB All-Star, two-time World Series Champion, and winner of the 2008 Hank Aaron Award.
An intense performer on the playing field, Youkilis was known for his scrappiness, grittiness, dirt-stained jerseys, home-plate collisions, and his strange batting stance. He excelled despite a physique that led many observers to underestimate his athletic ability. He was called "roly-poly" by his high school coach, "pudgy" by his college coach, a "fat kid" by general manager Billy Beane, and a "thicker-bodied guy" by the Red Sox scout who recruited him. As Jackie MacMullan wrote for the Boston Globe: "He does not look like an MVP candidate; more a refrigerator repairman, a butcher, the man selling hammers behind the counter at the True Value hardware store." Youkilis was named to the Sporting News ' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball, ranking No. 36 on the list in 2009, No. 38 in 2010, and No. 35 in 2011.
- ^ Silva, Steve (November 6, 2007). "Youk wins Gold Glove". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
- ^ "Youkilis Sets New Consecutive Error-Free Games Record". Fenway Fanatics. April 2, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2007.
- ^ Gottlieb, Corey (May 7, 2009). "Kevin Youkilis: Boston's truest dirt". MLB.com. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- ^ Bernacchio, Adam (June 15, 2005). "Getting áced: The Five Best Jewish Players In Baseball Today". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 16, 2009.
- ^ Bechtel, Mark (October 19, 2007). "Making a Name for Himself: Kevin Youkilis has become a folk hero in Boston". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- ^ MacMullan, Jackie (October 7, 2009). "Burning desire: Youkilis's fiery displays are embraced by some, loathed by others, but he won't change approach". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
By Dean Hanley
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