Youkilis wins vote as top Jewish player in 2000s


NEW YORK (JTA) — Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis was voted the top Jewish baseball player of the decade in online balloting.

Jewish Major Leaguers, a suburban Boston-based organization that each year produces a set of trading cards of Jewish baseball players, conducted the vote.

Youkilis received 54 percent of the nearly 350 votes cast to easily outdistance former outfielder Shawn Green, a retired outfielder with several teams who was second with 20 percent. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers finished third with 11 percent.

“Clearly,” said Martin Abramowitz, who heads Jewish Major Leaguers, “Youkilis made a more lasting impression because of his superb play in the second half of the decade, which included a .382 on-base percentage, tops among everyone in the group.”

Youkilis, a seven-year veteran, also had a consecutive errorless streak at first base that broke an 86-year old record, won a Gold Glove, and had two Top 10 finishes in MVP voting.

He has helped guide the Red Sox to four post-season appearances in the 2000s, batting .500 in the 2007 American League Championship Series with a .929 slugging percentage. The Red Sox won the World Series that season.

The 2010 edition of Jewish Major Leaguer cards will include a card recognizing Youkilis’ selection.

Other candidates to receive votes included Brad Ausmus, Jason Marquis, Scott Schoeneweis, John Grabow, Gabe Kapler, Scott Feldman, Ian Kinsler, Craig Breslow, Adam Stern and Mike Lieberthal. Ausmus, Marquis and Schoeneweis played the full decade of the ‘00s.

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