Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura died Sunday morning in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. The Royals confirmed his death, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. If this news could be any sadder, former major league infielder Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car crash in the Dominican Republic.
Royals' P Yordano Ventura has died in car accident in the Dominican Republic. He was 25 years old. pic.twitter.com/lby7Y6ppMc— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2017
Metropolitan traffic authorities have stated Marte died early Sunday morning when his vehicle hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles north of Santo Domingo, the capital.
ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2017
Ventura spent four seasons with the Royals as a starting pitcher, going 38-31 in his career with a 3.89 ERA (earned run average), 1.34 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and 470 strikeouts. He also started nine games in the postseason for the Royals between 2014 and 2015. Close friends and family would call him Ace Ventura, and he was on the team when the Royals won the World Series in 2015. Ventura finished 6th in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2014.
As for Marte, he was a third basemen in the MLB for 14 years, having played with the Braves, Red Sox, Indians and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ventura started in Marte's last professional game with the Diamondbacks in 2014.
Marte's final major league appearance came in a game started by Ventura. According to Baseball Reference, Marte appeared as a pinch hitter on Aug. 6, 2014, striking out to end the game. Marte didn't face Ventura, who was the winning pitcher.
Marte was considered a top prospect when he signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2000 but never translated his potential to major league success. He played both first base and third base in the majors and had a .218 batting average with 21 home runs and 99 RBIs in seven seasons for the Diamondbacks, Braves and Cleveland Indians.
He played the past two seasons for the KT Wiz of the Korean Baseball Organization.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time an active Dominican baseball player has lost their life on the country’s highways.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in 2014 when he crashed in his hometown of Puerto Plata. He was 22-years-old. Shortstop Andujar Cedeno died at the age of 31 in a 2000 car crash in the city of La Romana.
Ventura was 25-years-old, while Marte was only 33-years-old.