Kevin Youkilis has agreed to sign with the Yankees, which predictably has New York’s large Jewish population pretty excited.
Youk, who spent his entire career with the Boston Red Sox until being traded to the Chicago White Sox last season, grew up in Cincinnati and is from a Jewish family. He had a Bar Mitzvah, and his father says the ballplayer can even read Hebrew.
So how did his family end up with a Greek last name? Youkilis’ father, Mike, shared the story with The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir.
“There are so many stories in the family,” Mike Youkilis, Kevin’s father, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “But we’ve agreed on one.”
In that story, there was, sometime in the 1800s, a teenager with the last name Weiner, who is believed to have been Kevin Youkilis’s great-great-great-great-grandfather — give or take a great — and who lived in what is now Romania. Fearing the Cossacks, who were no friends of the Jews, and of being drafted at age 16 into the army, he fled to Gree