As the Royals family woke up to Sunday, possibly looking forward to Spring Training next month and the return of our beloved Royals, we were hit with news that shook us all. Yordano “Ace” Ventura, the Royals young and rising star pitcher, was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic Sunday morning.
There are many things Royals fans remember about Yordano. On the field, there were the great moments of Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS and Game 6 of the 2014 World Series. There were moments of immaturity, like getting into it with multiple players of opposing teams. Regardless, the talent was too big to miss. He could hit triple digits with his fastball and put you away with a devastating curveball.
However, away from the field, he was a free spirit. After winning the 2015 American League Pennant, he opened a bottle of beer with his teeth and his “We go to the World Series again…OOOOO BABY!!!” will be remembered by Royals fans forever. A day after losing the World Series in 2014, he was playing softball with kids in Kansas City. Kansas City loved him and he loved Kansas City. He was going to be a key part of the Royals future for a long time.
Then Sunday happened. It’s a reminder of how fragile life can be and that we only have a finite amount of time on this Earth. We are not invincible and we will all meet our maker someday. It’s what we do in our time on this planet that we’ll be remembered for.
Yordano accomplished a lot in his short time with us. A kid from the Dominican who came to Kansas City and helped the Royals to two American League Pennants and a World Series title. He has his game-worn hat from Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, a game the Royals had to win to force a Game 7, in the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was a game the world saw the promise of Yordano, shutting down the San Francisco Giants to no runs over seven innings. He was honored, with all the Royals, at the White House. He lived every kid’s dream who grew up playing in the backyard.
There is plenty that divides us as a Royals family. We all have our own political beliefs and personal struggles. However, we come together and unite in times of need. We stand together in praying for Yordano’s family and for comforting each other when we need it. Yordano was one of us, he was our brother, and there will always be a place in our hearts as Royals fans for him. He is, and always will be, Forever Royal.
Rest In Peace, Ace! May you throw fire in God’s starting rotation.
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