It’s never easy watching someone that brought so many fond memories to millions of people become a thing of the past, but 24 hours ago, this was the case for Kevin Youkilis. He sported a different color of socks changing from his customary reds to his new black’s for the first time in his eight and a half year major league career. Youk was a unquestionably one of the most popular athletes in the Boston sports scene in the past ten years before being shipped away on Sunday afternoon to the Chicago White Sox.
He sported an attitude and devotion to the game of baseball that every manager wishes their players could embody. These qualities were evident to the entire baseball world not just Red Sox Nation as Youkilis was named the “Sporting News list of 50 greatest current players in baseball 3 different times from 2009-2011. He might not have looked like a sculpted Roman gladiator like the majority of athletes in professional sports today, but that’s what made him even more likeable. Unfortunately for number 20, injuries started to take a toll on his body causing him to miss the better part of the last two and a half years. Becoming a square peg in a circular hole was how you would appropriately describe the final days in a Red Sox Uniform. Will Middlebrooks has emerged as a potential juggernaut at the hot corner (his 34 RBI in his first 41 games is the most by any major leaguer to start their career) for hopefully many more years to come. Although it was not for an extended period of time, being around Kevin Youkilis to begin his career will shape Middlebrooks into a true baseball player. One that will not take things for granted, but instead will take every opportunity he is given and make the absolute most of it.
I think that Youk still has some juice left in his tank and playing in a devoted city like Chicago will only help push him more to be the vital player the White Sox need him to be. Starting every day at third base with the occasional game at first when Konerko or Dunn need some rest will allow him to be that everyday player he has always been once again as they will also rely on him to give some much needed offense at the top of their lineup ( he batted 2nd in his debut ). At the very least they should fight for a playoff spot if not win their division albeit they are in the mess that is the AL central. Youk has two World Series rings of his own and there is no doubting in anyone’s mind that the hunger still burns in his body just as badly as it did when he came up to the big leagues in 2004. Farewell Kevin Youkilis. It was an absolute pleasure to watch you play at Fenway over the last eight and a half years.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.