What started as a fun thing to do with his friends at school turned into a lifetime passion for the former Highland High School and University of Akron baseball standout. Yelinek started his career in Hinckley Youth Baseball, and then moved into travel ball before establishing himself as a standout in the Suburban League with the Highland Hornets. Yelinek was a first-team All-Suburban League honoree and first-team All-Medina County honoree while leading the Hornets to the league title in 1989. Kevin spring boarded his career to the University of Akron where he was a three-year letterman. He also played with Highland and Medina teams in the summer in the Greater Akron AA League in 1990 and 1991.
Yelinek continued playing the Akron AA League after playing at the University of Akron. He was a league all-star in 1994 while playing for Hudson and then transitioned to the hometown Sharon Center Cox Painting team in the NEO AAA League. He was named MVP of the NEO AAA League in 2003. He also began longtime career in the NEO Roy Hobbs League. He helped to lead the Colonels to the 28-over league championship in 2004 and 2005. The Colonels posted a 35-1 record in the two-year span.
Yelinek played for the Akron Knights from 2008 through 2014, helping the team win Veterans Division championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He also was playing with Portage South in the Greater Akron AA League from 2010 through 2014 and was named MVP in 2012. Yelinek was an NEO AAA League All-Star in 1992, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2003. He also earned all-star status in the Greater Akron AA League in 1994, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 when he was the runner-up in voting for the George Sisler Award.