[This morning, we all mourned the passing of Yorando Ventura and Andy Matte. Our thoughts go out to their families, friends and teammates. Senior East Coast Correspondent Ezra Troy delivers for all of us with a touching article about both players. Powers Trigg, Editor-in-Chief]
This morning, I got the news that saddened the world in the way I get normal sports news – through an ESPN alert. I looked at my phone in disbelief when I saw that not only Andy Marte, a former major leaguer, had been killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, but also that Yorando Ventura, the young flamethrower for the Royals, had also been killed in a (separate) car accident in the Dominican Republic.
Ventura was signed by the Royals as an international free agent in 2008 and came to the majors as a September call up in 2013. He had emerged as a star and was known for his incredible playoff performance in the Royals 2014 World Series run, winning three games. In game six of the World Series, he pitched seven shutout innings to force a game seven (which the Royals won). At that game, on the side of his cap, he wore a patch that said “RIP O.T #18” and dedicated the game to his friend and fellow countryman, Oscar Taveras, who had been killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic just a few days prior.
Marte played seven season in the majors and was on many teams, primarily the Cleveland Indians. He played a total of 308 games in the majors and was a third baseman. He played a season with Atlanta before he was bounced around in a few trades involving the Red Sox (never playing a game for them), before he landed in Cleveland and playing there for five years until 2010. He didn’t play Major League ball again until he played a few games with the Diamondbacks in 2014. He then played a season in Korea in 2015.
Both of these players were exceptional people and the entire baseball community is mourning their deaths. Players on all different teams, including All-Stars Miguel Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen and former Royal Johnny Cueto have expressed their sadness and grief at the passing of these two amazing men.
Yorando Ventura was poised to be the next star pitcher in the major leagues and his touching tribute to his close friend, Oscar Taveras, really showed how great of a person he was. At myespnforkids.com, we are all deeply saddened by the tragic news and would like to say that we lost not only a great player, but a great person today with the passing of Yorando Ventura, as well as the passing of Andy Marte. RIP.