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Yordano Ventura (1991 - 2017)

Getty Images / Photo by Christian Petersen

Yordano Ventura (1991 - 2017)

Yordano Ventura, a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic, according to multiple news sources. He was 25.

The Kansas City Royals organization confirmed Ventura’s death. A police colonel in the Dominican Republic told ESPN that the accident occurred in the town of Juan Adrian.

Ventura had been with the Royals since 2013. The young pitcher had a career record of 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.

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The Royals released a heartfelt statement on Ventura's death:

“The Kansas City Royals regretfully announce the passing of Yordano Ventura, who perished in a car accident last night in the Dominican Republic. There are no details available at this time regarding the accident that claimed the life of the 25-year-old Ventura.”

“Our prayers right now are with Yordano’s family as we mourn this young man’s passing,” said Dayton Moore, the Royals’ senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager. “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, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano.”

Ventura had a rocket for a fastball that he could throw at speeds exceeding 100 mph. He played a significant role in 2015 when the Royals won the World Series.

Ventura took the nickname Ace Ventura. He made nine postseason starts with the Royals before he turned 25.

In 2014, Ventura's friend and fellow countryman, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, died in a car accident. Ventura paid tribute to his friend when he wore a cap with "RIP O.T. #18" written on it for his Game 6 start of the World Series against the Giants. He threw seven shutout innings in that start to help lift the Royals to a decisive Game 7.

Teammates and MLB players paid tribute to Ventura on social media:

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas wrote, "I love you Ace. I don't know what to say other then I'm going to miss you a lot. RIP ACE."

Red Sox pitcher David Price wrote, "What terrible news this morning! RIP Yordano. This kid was so talented and was only scratching the surface. Condolences to his family."

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