Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Yordano Ventura, an excitable pitcher with an electric fastball who helped theKansas City Royals to their first World Series championship in 30 years, died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic early Sunday. He was 25.

The Royals nicknamed him “Ace” not as a label but as a reference to the movie “Ace Ventura,” yet they always anticipated he would harness a fastball that reached 100 mph and blossom into an elite pitcher. Instead, they were in mourning Sunday.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer posted a picture of him with Ventura on Instagram and wrote, “ACE I love you my brother. I’m in disbelief and don't know what to say. I love you ACE.”

Royals pitcher Danny Duffy and infielder Christian Colon visited Kauffman Stadium and hugged fans there to remember Ventura.

“He’s always had a zest for life, an innocence about the game, a freshness, a fearlessness,” Royals General Manager Dayton Moore said on a conference call.

“And he’s been really the same guy from day one, as far as his character traits and what made him special. He’s just a really passionate human. He loved to compete. He no doubt challenged us. But that made us better.

“No one could ever doubt how much he cared about his teammates. How much he cared about the fans. And how much he loved to compete and to pitch.”

Dominican authorities told Moore that Ventura was driving in heavy fog at the time of the crash and was not wearing a seat belt but that there was no immediate indication alcohol played a role, according to the Kansas City Star. Read full article...

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23 Jan 2017

By Bill Shaikin