The Kansas City Royals and the baseball world lost a young talented pitcher in Yordano Ventura, who died in a car crash Sunday morning in the Dominican Republic. He was only 25 years old.
Yordano Ventura Dies in Car Accident
According to Colonel Jacobo Mateo Moquete, director of communications for the military and police of the Dominican Republic, Ventura was killed on the Juan Adrián highway in San Jose de Ocoa. His death comes on the same day former Cleveland Indians infielder Andy Marte was killed in a car crash in the Dominican. The accidents are unrelated.
Ventura made his debut for the Royals in 2013 and was immediately known for his fastball, which sometimes topped 100 mph. He was also known for his fiery temper, at times; he earned a suspension for nine games last season after throwing at Orioles third basemen Manny Machado.
He donned the nickname Ace Ventura in Kansas City and would go on to play a pivotal part in its AL pennant winning team from 2014 and its World Series championship team in 2015.
What was perhaps Ventura’s most defining moment may have come during Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, when he paid tribute to his fellow countryman and friend, the late St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, who had died in an accident in the Dominican Republic. Ventura allowed three hits over seven shutout innings that night, helping Kansas City force a Game 7. Ventura pitched his final game while wearing inscriptions on his hat paying tribute to Taveras and Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez.
Ventura started 93 games in his career with the Royals, posting a 38-31 record and 3.89 ERA. He went 27-18 in 2014-15, when the Royals won back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series. Ventura made 10 postseason starts in those seasons.