Sunday, January 22, 2017

Way too young

January 22, 2017, The day the baseball community comes together and mourns the loss of two different players. Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte both died today in separate car wrecks in their home country of the Dominican Republic.

Andy Marte was a seven year veteran who debuted in 2005 for the Atlanta Braves. Marte played for several different teams in his seven year career. He last played for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014.

Yordano Ventura played four years for the Kansas City Royals. In that period he racked up a 38-31 record with a 3.89 ERA. Ventura was given the nickname "ACE" which seemed to be fitting. As a young Royals fan who has seen nothing but heartbreak and turmoil for most of my life, he seemed to be one of the young leaders who was quickly turning around the Royals franchise. 

In the 2014 World Series, Ventura was considered to have his best game of his short career by many. Ventura pitched seven scoreless innings while allowing only three hits. His performance sent the Royals to a crucial game seven. At the time, his best childhood friend had just passed away from a car accident. Oscar Taveras and Yordano Ventura had dreamed of playing under those big league lights and they had finally done it. Ventura was a big reason they had made it to the World Series and played a major role in winning it all in 2015. He gave much of his thanks to the people of Kansas City, the D.R. and many more but mostly gave it all to Oscar. 

Ventura was such a small guy but boy could he throw some heat. He constantly amazed fans and experts with his numerous 100 MPH pitches. Batters would stand in the box after being struck out and you could see the look on their face, the look of "how the h@#! did he just do that?"

 At times he struck the nerve of opposing players and he was by no means afraid of anybody. A couple incidents proved him to be bigger than his body said he was and was involved in many on field altercations. The rising star didn't seem to care what others thought of him and would stand up to defend him and his teammates any day of the week.

The Dominican Republic is considered to be one of the worst countries when it comes to driving and vehicle related deaths. although the toxicology report wont be known for weeks, both of these young deaths come night of/morning after celebrating the national holiday of Dia de la Altagracia, a holiday of feasting for the protector of the people of the Dominican Republic. 

Although Ventura may have been a hothead and a little unpredictable at times, yes he may have had a slight temper, he was family to the Royals and its fan base. Nobody played with passion like he did and nobody was a better cheerleader than he was. He may have only been 25 but his name will be forever Royal.