Youk is standing up for what’s right at his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati.
Kevin Youkilis typified that very special rule that dictates that the more Red Sox fans love you, the more every last rival team hates you. In such times as these, however, his latest project stands to flip the script and perhaps even recruit a few Yankee diehards to his side.
On Saturday, recently graduated Cincinnati Bearcats pitcher Nathan Moore called for the team’s home venue, Marge Schott Stadium, to be renamed, pointing to the former Cincinnati Reds owner’s history of racist controversies.
And Youkilis, who had a record-setting career as Bearcat from 1998 to 2001, has joined the fight.
Kevin Youkilis supports an effort to rename the Bearcats’ Marge Schott Stadium
Youkilis explained in a social media post that the university had offered to rename the venue “Kevin Youkilis Field at Marge Schott Stadium” if he were to make a significant donation to the baseball program. Pointing to Schott’s history of antisemitic remarks, Youkilis, whose family is Jewish, opted not to do so.
Choosing to ally himself with Moore was the easiest of decisions.
“UC has given me so much in life and I’m forever grateful for the experiences and friendships I’ve made while attending,” he wrote, suggesting that a spirit of inclusion helped make his college years what they were.
Youk’s heart is in the right place here, and he and Moore stand to be a powerful, influential team. This is a man who loves the Bearcats and the program that helped shape him into a future three-time MLB All-Star and two-time World Series champion with the Sox; he even got inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
Voices like his are especially important in hastening the charge toward justice, and in these times of such raw social nerves, Kevin Youkilis has a chance to accomplish something bigger and more enduring that even his finest moments on the diamond.