Sad news today: Yordano Ventura is dead.
Ventura, a 25-year-old pitcher for the World Series-winning Kansas City Royals, died today in a car crash in the Dominican Republic.
It’s unclear exactly what happened to cause the crash, but according to Sports Illustrated, it’s believed that he was under the influence at the time of the crash.
A Dominican police chief first broke the news of the crash, tweeting in Spanish “Regrettable!! It is the player YORDANO VENTURA the person who died in an accident in Juan Adrian at dawn today.”
Later, the Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting for the Royals confirmed the news.
“It is with a heavy and broken heart that we confirm the passing of Yordano Ventura,” he tweeted.
“The club will release a statement soon. #RIPAce” — Ace, of course, being Ventura’s nickname.
The Royals released an official press release just a few hours ago to “regretfully announce the passing of Yordano Ventura, who perished in a car accident last night in the Dominican Republic.”
In the statement, Dayton Moore, general manager of the Royals, said “Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing.”
“He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with.”
“We will get through this as an organization,” Moore concluded, “but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”
The statement also included some information about Ventura’s short career, which he spent entirely with the Royals “after signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2008” before “debuting for the club” in 2013.
He played two World Series with the team, helping bring them their second ever victory in 2015.
During the last game Ventura played, he wore a special hat that paid tribute to two other baseball players who died too soon: Jose Fernandez who died last fall in a boating accident, and Oscar Taveras who died in a car crash a few years ago.
Ventura’s teammates are already sending messages of mourning and love on Twitter.
“I love you Ace,” third baseman Mike Moustakas wrote. “I don’t know what to say other than I’m going to miss you a lot. RIP ACE.”
First baseman Eric Hosmer tweeted “ACE I love you my brother. I’m in disbelief and don’t know what to say. I love you ACE.”
Drew Butera, a catcher for the Royals, wrote “Gone way too soon. You will forever be my brother. My prayers are with you and your family. May you rest with the Lord now.”
Fellow pitcher Kyle Zimmer wrote “We lost a great one today. Hard to believe he’s actually gone. You will be greatly missed, Ace.”
Hunter Dozier said “I’m at a loss of words today.. Very sad day in the baseball community. You’ll be missed Ace.”
“When you scroll down and your whole newsfeed is talking about your brother,” left fielder Terrance Gore mused. “The impact the energy you brought to our team #GoneTooSoon”
“I am still in disbelief,” pitcher Matt Strahm wrote. “I am going to miss you Ace! The clubhouse won’t be the same without you.”
General manager Dayton Moore added “We love Yordano. We love his heart & who he was as a teammate & friend. He challenged us & made us better. We’re going to miss him.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this tragic death.