BOSTON (CBS) – Kevin Youkilis is returning to Boston on Monday for the first time since being traded to the Chicago White Sox on June 24.
For his former Red Sox teammates, it will be a strange feeling to see Youk wearing different color socks.
“It will always feel like he’s a part of us,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said Sunday. “He’d been here for a long time; it’s going to be weird seeing him in another uni.”
It’s been three weeks since Youkilis was sent out-of-town, and the third baseman has enjoyed quite a bit of success in Chicago. In 16 games, he is hitting .295 with three homers and 15 RBI. Chicago is 11-5 since making the trade.
But Youk’s success is nothing Pedroia didn’t see coming.
“He’s a great player. We knew it was only a matter of time when he got on the field consistently that he would perform well,” said Pedroia. “It’s tough that he’s doing it in the American League, especially for a team that is in first place. If we get there, we have a chance to play them. We hope he does well.”
Pedroia On Youk’s Return:
On Sunday, Youkilis wrote a letter to Red Sox fans thanking them all for their support over his eight-plus seasons in Boston.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to play every home game of my career in Boston before a sold out Fenway Park,” Youkilis said in the letter published on ESPNBoston.com. “I would like to thank everyone who gave me an opportunity in Boston, and stood behind me through all these years. To the Spinners, the Sea Dogs, the PawSox, and to all those teammates on the Red Sox since 2004, I am forever grateful.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope Talks With Red Sox Fans:
It was a nice gesture from a professional player, and the Red Sox are expecting the Boston faithful to return the favor Monday night when Youk steps to the plate for the first time as a member of the White Sox.
“I’m sure they’re going to give him a nice ovation. He played his butt off for a long time,” said Pedroia. “The fans love him. He was pretty respected for the way he played and the way he went about his business. I’m sure they’ll show their appreciation for him.”
While they wish their former teammate continued success in his career, they are hoping he takes the next four games off from his current hot streak.
“I hope not,” said Pedroia when WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller asked if he thought Youkilis would play well against his old team, much like Carlton Fisk did for the White Sox against Boston. “We’re trying to win. It’s going to be weird; I played with Youk for so long. It’s going to be weird.”