This Sunday, January 22 is a grim day for baseball. Current Royals’ pitcher Yordano Ventura, age 25 and former infielder Andy Marte, age 33 are both dead following car crashes in the Dominican Republic.
Details are sketchy. This much we know: Marte died in San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, Ventura died in the smaller town of Juan Adrian.
Marte had played in the bigs off and on from 2005 until 2014. He broke in with the Braves but played his longest stretch (five years) with the Indians. The last two seasons he had been a slugger in the Korean Baseball League.
Ventura, at 25 was a stalwart in the Royals’ rotation. He broke in in late September, 2013. He pitched with the Royals as a starter during the 2014 and 2015 World Series. He had worn the Royals’ colors since 2008. He became notorious in 2015 for causing bench-clearing brawls in 3 straight games he pitched in. He was suspended once in 2015 and once in 2016 after an incident between himself and Manny Machado of the Orioles.
I can’t express my grief and unhappiness particularly at the death of Ventura, another ace pitcher lost way too soon. The baseball world is still grieving for Jose Fernandez, dead in a boating accident last September. Now the Royals are bereft of one of the best pitchers they had. R I P.0