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Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Kevin Youkilis

Day 1 of our special feature has Kevin Youkilis discussing his career, advice for other players, and his dream trip to Israel.
By: Ashley Baylen
Published: September 1st, 2011 in Culture » Society » Interviews
Kevin Youkilis

After the success of both our Top Jewish Artists and Top Jewish Models series, we have decided to bring you “Top Jews In Sports”. Over the next couple weeks, a new sports figure will be featured each day.

Since the previous format of asking all participants the same questions was so popular, we have decided to carry that over to this feature as well. Enjoy.

Day 1- Kevin Youkilis

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Kevin was selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2001 draft. Kevin was the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002, and named to the International League All Star team in 2003. He made an auspicious major league debut on May 15, 2004 when he smashed a home run in a 4-0 win over Toronto against Cy Young award winning pitcher Pat Hentgen. Kevin appeared in 72 games for the World Series champions that year and was named the club's Rookie of the Year by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Kevin was a two-time All-American at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the Sycamore High School team that won the AAU National Championship in 1994.

Over the years, Kevin has sought opportunities to make a difference and participated in a variety of philanthropic efforts. In 2006, he started a ticket program called "Lil' Youks," in which he invites children from the Home for Little Wanderers, March of Dimes, Italian Home and Massachusetts General Hospital Teen Oncology Support Group to attend Boston Red Sox home games. He has also been involved with charity events raising monies for Locks of Love. He also attended a special holiday luncheon for children from ABCD in 2005, annually he participates in the CBS Children's Hospital Telethon to help raise funds for Children's Hospital Boston. Additionally, he is an active participant at his teammates fundraising events; participating in Gabe Kapler's Poker Tournament to benefit the Kapler Foundation in 2005, Jason Varitek's Putt-Putt tournament and attending the 2005 Christmas at Fenway, where he signed autographs and answered questions from fans. Kevin Youkilis founded Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids to multiply the impact of his effort and encourage others to join in his mission to improve the education, health and safety of children across New England and beyond.

Kevin is more than the Founder of Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids – he is out in the community on a daily basis making a difference. He attends board meetings, emcees events, and is not only an attendee of community events but also an active participant. Kevin is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get involved, and he has been and will continue to be a motivator, a visionary, and someone that everyone can relate to when he shares his story. He touches the hearts and minds of children and adults both on and off the field. This is evident by the awards he’s received in the community: 2008 Good Sports Award Recipient, 2008 Christopher's Haven Honoree, 2008 Hank Aaron Award, and 2007 Joslin Diabetes Center Honoree. Kevin is a two-time all-star, a two-time World Series winner, a 2007 Rawlings Gold Glove winner, and a member of Team USA at the World Baseball Classic. (Bio provided by youkskids.org)

Ashley Baylen (AB): Was there a moment when you realized this would be a career instead of a hobby or passion?

Kevin Youkilis (KY): I never treated baseball like a career. To me it was trying to get drafted and play baseball at the next level after college. My goal was to excel at every level until I got to the major leagues. Once I got to the major leagues then it was trying to be the best player I could possibly be. Luckily, the job pays very well and becomes a great career once you reach the top.

AB: In your weak moments, what food item do you allow yourself to pig out on?

KY: Mexican food!

AB: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

KY: Hanging out with my friends and family. Especially love hanging out with my nieces and nephew.

AB: Rapid fire. First thing that comes to mind. What your favorite movie?

KY: Tommy Boy

Related articles: Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox, Baseball, World Series, Lil' Youks, Hits for Kids, Israel, Pearl Jam, iPad
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