It took us some time to regroup here at CardsBlog from the terrible news of yet another tragedy in baseball. But here we show tribute to two of baseball’s shining stars gone too soon.
The morning of Sunday, January 22nd struck the baseball world with terrible news of the deaths of two of baseball’s finest. The first tragedy to come to the surface was the automobile accident involving young, Dominican star right-hander, Yordano Ventura.
And then, almost as to toy with baseball fans around the globe, news came in just an hour or so later of an almost identical scene involving former Major League infielder, Andy Marte. We are all still struck to the core by this news, in what has turned out to be one of the most difficult years in baseball history.
Yordano Ventura was a star in the making. After posting a 3.20 ERA in 30 starts in what was his first full year in the MLB in 2014, many thought he was on the path to be one of the game’s greats. His ERA dipped into the fours in his past two seasons with Kansas City, but the kid, just 25 at the time of his death, had undeniable talent.
Known for his ability to throw a seemingly effortless 95, with a stifling two-seamer and a wipe-out curveball, Ventura was one of the most physically gifted pitchers in the league. In fact, in his debut in September of 2013, he threw a fastball of just under 103 mph, a mark that has yet to be matched in a big league debut.
Ventura did not have the greatest of success against the Cardinals, going 1-3 in four career games with a 6.33 ERA. However, over his brief career, he held a respectable 3.89 ERA, with a quite good strikeout to walk ratio of 470 Ks to 211 BB. All in all, however, I think the consensus around baseball is that Ventura’s stats never quite showed his true potential, which is why him being taken away from the game so early is so truly tragic.
Yordano Ventura was an A-1 talent. He had to ability to be a star in this league, and easily could have reached that peak if given a few more years on the mound in Kansas City. However, he was tragically taken from us too soon, and thus we will never get to see what could have been from this great talent.
Ventura was married just before the 2016 season.
Although not the name that Yordano Ventura was, Andy Marte was still known in the major leagues as a serviceable utility man between 2005 and 2010 with Atlanta and Cleveland, before leaving the bigs for three years, only to return in 2014 with Arizona for a short stint of 6 games.
278 of Marte’s career 308 big league games were spent with the Indians, where he hit .224 in 858 plate appearances with 20 home runs and 92 RBI. Despite never having a prolific Major League career, Marte was respected around baseball as a solid backup for a struggling Indians team.
Marte, at the time of his death, was still playing in Korea, for the KT Wiz of the KBO League, for whom he had played for the last two years.
Andy Marte’s career ended on August 6th, 2014. He was then with the Diamondbacks. The game was being played against the Royals. The starting pitcher for Kansas City, Yordano Ventura. Marte’s only at bat came as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning against closer Greg Holland, in which he struck out, to end the ballgame.
In his death, Marte left a 7 year old son.
In a year more trying than possibly any in the history of the sport, we look forward with a twinkle in our eyes. From tears, yes, for those taken from us far too soon; but also with a glimmer of hope, knowing that the 2017 baseball season is just around the corner, and that the crack of the bat, and the slap of the mitt, can always make everything just ok.