This past Sunday, September 30, 2018, marked two years since Yordano Ventura’s last outing with the Kansas City Royals in his tragically short career. We look back at Yordano and his impact he had with the Kansas City Royals.
When I first sat down and watched Yordano Ventura make his debut with the Kansas City Royals, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard of his flamethrowing abilities but truthfully didn’t follow his minor league career as much as I wanted to. When I watched his debut against the Cleveland Indians, I was surprised what I saw. A skinny, average height young lad confidently walking to the bump.
Yordano was the definition of the term, “looks can be deceiving.” When he reared back and fired the ball to Salvy for the first time, I was shocked. This 22-year-old kid was firing in a 95-102 MPH fastball like it was nothing and had a breaking ball that was downright disgusting. It was at that moment I knew that the Kansas City Royals had gotten a hold of something special.
In the four seasons we had Yordano, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning every time it was his day to pitch. With his fiery and competitive attitude, he made watching any game exciting. A lot of people I’ve talked to couldn’t stand him because of his demeanor, but I think it’s what made Yordano so special.
Yordano’s controversial attitude when he pitched was always my favorite thing about him. Personally, I’ve always liked playing for and watching guys with attitudes like his, and I tried to be like Yordano. Willing to do whatever it takes to win and protect their team. It’s a brotherhood out there, and players like that truly make you want to go above and beyond. He didn’t care who you were. His mission was simple: he’s going to embarrass you at the plate unless you prove yourself otherwise. Yordano was a young cat with the swagger of a veteran.
We all witnessed something special with Ace, and I’m thankful for it all. Yordano was a beacon of hope for our future, and to this day his death hurts just as much as when I first heard the news. A franchise lost their rising star, but more importantly, a mother lost her son at the young age of 25.
We will never forget how much Yordano meant to us all and I will forever cherish each game he pitched in. From his debut to the remarkable game 6 against the Giants and everything in between, Yordano Ventura will always be Forever Royal. So to Ace Ventura: thank you for everything. We love you, and may you be at peace.