The 25-year-old died suddenly on Sunday in the Dominican Republic
Yordano Ventura didn’t have an array of awards to his name, but the hard-throwing pitcher for the Kansas City Royals was instrumental in their 2015 World Series Championship, endearing him to both casual and die-hard fans of the team. Following his shocking death Sunday in his home country of the Dominican Republic, his legions of fans didn’t just mourn. They turned out to express their respect, love, and heartbreak for a person and player taken at the young age of 25 in a car wreck.
It wasn’t long after his death was confirmed and broadcast on Sunday that Royals fans flocked to the team’s ballpark, Kauffman Stadium, to pay their respects. There was no game being played there and won’t be for months, but the locale served as an instinctive rallying point for those who loved the player, the man, and the team.
Fans weren’t the only ones in attendance. Royals Danny Duffy and Christian Colon made the trip to pay their respects as well as console bereaved fans:
Royals fans offer their condolences to Danny Duffy and Christian Colon at The K: https://t.co/tVrUt9vuBm— Sam McDowell (@Sam McDowell) 1485113005.0
For Colon, a close friend of Ventura, the news was especially difficult. He shared some moving words with the world via Twitter following the news of Ventura’s passing:
https://t.co/853o40dbJU— Christian Colón (@Christian Colón) 1485105481.0
Colon also shared some words in person to those at the stadium. Pained and fighting tears, he said to those assembled, “Thank you guys for all the support. You guys are great. We’re a community — a great city. We’ll overcome this together.”
As the images below show, the day was an emotional one for all those who made the trip to the ballpark.
Another small fan brings flowers to a growing memorial outside Kauffman Stadium honoring @Royals Ace Yordano Ventur… https://t.co/yWLt7oSjP2— Jeff Roberts (@Jeff Roberts) 1485107410.0
Kansas City pays tribute to Yordano Ventura outside of Kauffman Stadium. #RIPAce https://t.co/Pgub6463g0 https://t.co/RINXnpR3rE— theScore (@theScore) 1485135982.0
Candlelight vigil about to start for Yordano Ventura at Kauffman Stadium. https://t.co/hLDPBEGnwx— Nathan Vickers (@Nathan Vickers) 1485129631.0
Fans release balloons in memory of #Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura at Kauffman Stadium. @KCStar @Royals… https://t.co/CCvWqelkIU— John Sleezer (@John Sleezer) 1485122412.0
Ventura is survived by his wife, Maria del Pilar Sangiovanni, whom he married in last year’s off-season.