An all too familiar feeling swept across the St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinals Nation as the news on the passing of Kansas City Royals SP Yordano Ventura broke on Sunday.
Four months after MLB lost Jose Fernandez to a boating accident, the league now mourns the loss of Kansas City Starting Pitcher, Yordano Ventura. The St. Louis Cardinals join the baseball community in mourning the death of Yordano Ventura. As the news of his death was reported, I turned on 610 Sports Radio in KC to verify what my eyes could not believe.
Unfortunately, the radio only confirmed what I, and most, feared. Soon after I found myself staring at a picture of Ventura. I had the same sick and empty feeling as if I was reliving the night MLB learned of the passing of the late St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder, Oscar Taveras.
On October 26th, 2014, I went out to dinner with my wife. I anxiously awaited Game 5 of the World Series, but little did I know what happened earlier that day. Minutes before the first pitch, I received a text message from a friend back home that read, “Oscar Taveras died.”
I stared at the message as if it were a typo. I frantically searched through Twitter and other news outlets to confirm the report. As Ken Rosenthal broke the news of Taveras’ death, my heart sank and hopelessness filled its place. It was as if the world had suddenly stopped and flipped upside down.
Over the next couple of days grief, memories, and anger dominated my thoughts. To think that Taveras, who debuted with the Cardinals in May of 2014 with a home run, would never wear the Cardinals uniform again was unbearable.
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Ventura and Taveras were taken too soon from the great baseball cities of Kansas City and St. Louis. Both players were native sons of the Dominican Republic and were able to find a second home in the state of Missouri.Both players never knew any other organization than the Royals and Cardinals. They were promising players with even bigger futures, and we, the fans, loved them for it.
I don’t presume to know exactly what Royals fans are going through, but I imagine what I, and Cardinal Nation, felt for Oscar Taveras is pretty close. Sometimes there are no words, but only memories to cherish. Royals GM Dayton Moore said it best:
"We love Yordano. We love his heart and who he was as a teammate and friend. He challenged us and made us better. We’re going to miss him."
For more on what Yordano meant to the Royals and other questions asked to GM Dayton Moore click here.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Yordano’s family and friends, and to Kansas City. No one should suffer such a tragedy, but know this Royals fans. In times of sadness, time heals everything.