Kevin Youkilis was a beloved member of the Boston Red Sox for nine seasons. He was a key player in the team’s success, both on and off the field. His departure from the Red Sox in 2012 caused shockwaves among the team’s fans, who were left wondering: why did Kevin Youkilis leave the Red Sox?
Youkilis’ Career with the Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis began his career with the Red Sox in 2004. He was considered a hard-nosed player who excelled at hustling and making the most of his opportunities. He was a key member of the team’s success in the late 2000s, helping the Red Sox to win two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
Youkilis was a three-time All-Star, and won the Gold Glove award in 2007. He was also a two-time recipient of the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the best offensive player in each league. Youkilis was a fan favorite in Boston, and was affectionately referred to as “The Greek God of Walks” due to his penchant for drawing a lot of walks.
The Rise of Will Middlebrooks
In 2012, the Red Sox had a new third baseman: Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks was a rookie who had been drafted by the Red Sox in 2009 and had worked his way up the minor league system. He made his major league debut on May 2, 2012, and quickly established himself as a threat at the plate.
Middlebrooks’ emergence as a key player in the Red Sox lineup caused a dilemma for the team. With two capable third baseman, one of them would have to be moved to another position or traded. The Red Sox chose to trade Youkilis, as Middlebrooks was seen as the future of the team.
The Trade to the White Sox
On June 24, 2012, the Red Sox traded Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox. The trade was seen as a win-win for both teams, as the Red Sox were able to get a young pitcher, Zach Stewart, in return. Youkilis was also happy to join the White Sox, as he was reunited with former Red Sox manager, Ozzie Guillen, who was then the manager of the White Sox.
Youkilis’ Reaction to the Trade
Youkilis was understandably upset when he was traded. In a statement released after the trade, he said: “This is a bittersweet day for me. I am happy to be going to a great organization like the White Sox, but I will always cherish my time with the Red Sox.”
The Impact on the Red Sox
The Red Sox were able to fill the void left by Youkilis with Middlebrooks, and the team went on to win the World Series in 2013. But Youkilis’ departure was felt by many of his former teammates. David Ortiz said of Youkilis: “He was the heart and soul of that team for so many years. He was a great teammate, and we all miss him.”
Youkilis’ Legacy with the Red Sox
Youkilis’ legacy with the Red Sox will live on for many years to come. He was a key part of the team’s success in the late 2000s, and his hard-nosed style of play was admired by both his teammates and fans. He was also a leader in the clubhouse, and was a mentor to many of the younger players.
Youkilis’ Career After the Red Sox
Youkilis continued to play after leaving the Red Sox, spending time with the White Sox and the New York Yankees. He retired from baseball in 2014, but remains active in the game as a baseball analyst and commentator.
The departure of Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox in 2012 was a sad day for fans of the team. Youkilis was a beloved member of the team, and his absence was felt by many of his former teammates. But his legacy with the Red Sox will live on for many years to come, and he will always be remembered as an integral part of the team’s success in the late 2000s.