One week ago today, Kevin Youkilis nearly won the American League MVP, finishing third after the season that changed him from a role player to an undoubted star. Youkilis gives partial credit to a surprising source: his new wife, Enza.
“Much of my success has to do with her just helping me out,” Youkilis said back in late September. “If it wasn’t for her, I’d be lost. I wouldn’t know what to do every day. She knows not to schedule things for certain days, so I can get my rest and I can play baseball. Without her, I don’t think I’d be as good of a ballplayer as I am.”
She plans his doctors appointments, public appearances, meet-and-greets, and, most significantly, helps run Hits for Kids, the charity Youkilis began to help disadvantaged children.
A large and important portion of Enza's planning will come fruition Saturday night. Youkilis and his new bride are hosting Crackin’ It Up, the annual event at Mohegan Sun that supports Hits for Kids. Comedian Mike O’Malley will host the event, which will include a game of Family Feud featuring the Francona family, along with food, an open bar, and an auction for items including a World Series ring.
It will be a good time for a very good cause. The Hits for Kids program focuses on assisting under-funded charities around Boston and in Cincinnati, where Youkilis grew up, that help children in difficult situations. The Hits for Kids website has more information on the program, as well as links to buy tickets to Crackin’ It Up and to donate to the charity.