July 13, 2024

How we’ll remember Yordano Ventura

I didn’t even like baseball before Yordano Ventura.

The Kansas City Star published this front page after Game 6 of the 2014 World Series. Huffington Post

The Royals had been terrible my whole life, even with Zack Greinke. And basketball comes first in my hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, anyway. In college, my friends drove out to Kauffman Stadium with $8 nosebleed tickets and moved their way up to the good seats, which were always empty.

But Ventura, who made his Kansas City debut late in 2013, was part of a special group of Royals who caught my attention and taught me that baseball could be fun.

Best known for his unforgettable performance in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, Ventura died Sunday in a car crash in the Dominican Republic. He was just the seventh rookie ever to win an elimination World Series game, giving up three hits in seven innings. That Ventura dedicated the game to friend and former St. Louis Cardinal Oscar Tavaras, himself killed in a car accident, stings.

Ventura and the Royals brought so much joy to long-suffering Kansas City fans. For many, this group felt like family. Today, fans grieve like they’ve lost one of their own. It hadn’t occurred to me that anyone from the 2015 World Series team was mortal.

I asked Royals fans to share their favorite Ventura moments. Here are the videos, gifs and memories they sent.

Ventura’s reaction when the Royals won the pennant in 2015

That time Drew Butera sneaked up on Ventura

This gif

And this gif

Ventura wasn’t perfect, but his tackle form was decent

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Sarah Kelly Shannon 10 Articles
Former Staff Writer

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