Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/16/14
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 Greece. “Apparently, there was a family friend there with a name like Youkilis,” Mike Youkilis said. “A couple of years later, he got homesick, and when he decided to go home, he couldn’t come back with the name Weiner or he’d be thrown in jail. So he took the Greek name. He met a lady and they married in Romania and started to have kids. And we kept the name.” Even though confusion ensued because many people thought they were Greek, nobody in the Youkilis family considered changing the name back to Weiner (can you imagine the torment growing up with that last name?). Cool story, right? I’m sure many families, including mine, can relate. My father’s family came from Germany, and they had a much longer, German-sounding last name. When they arrived in New York, the name was simplified and Anglicized to Brown. But make no mistake about it: Even though Youkilis has a Greek last name, he is proud of his Jewish heritage. Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can play for Vikings or not at all

RG3 misses 'having fun playing football' after two tough seasons

Houston mayor's office weighs in on Kaepernick Instagram post

Dallas Cowboys using drones to tape practice sessions

LeBron James' manager is mentoring Johnny Manziel

Details emerge from McDonald's domestic violence arrest

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Propaganda season begins with SEC spring meetings

Indians support Aviles, ailing daughter by shaving heads

McIlroy will donate his winnings if he wins Irish Open

Carlos Gomez on tiff with Bumgarner: 'He's not my dad'

Are the Texas Rangers contenders or pretenders?

WATCH: IRS official zings FIFA with play on words

After sweep by Cavaliers, what's next for the Hawks?

Michigan DB Jabril Peppers tees off on NCAA on Twitter

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.