Royals right-handed pitcher Yordano Ventura was pronounced dead in a fatal car crash in the Dominican Republic Jan. 22.

As the sun rose over the Kansas City Metropolitan area, it couldn’t have been a darker day with the news of Yordano Ventura’s death weighing on everyone’s minds.

Ventura, 25, the former Kansas City Royals “ACE”, was pronounced dead at the scene of a car accident in the Dominican Republic Sunday morning.

Royals fans around the globe mourned his death with recollections of what he meant to the Kansas City family. From his historic tribute to the late Oscar Tavares with a seven inning shutout in game six of the World Series, to his wild antics in the locker room after the big win, Ventura was special.

Growing up in poverty in the Dominican Republic, Ventura knew his calling was baseball. A school dropout, and a construction worker at age 14, no one saw what he saw. It took three years, but eventually a team believed in him and that team was the Royals.

From an under-the-radar prospect, to a rising star, to ACE, Ventura was born again in the form of a baseball player. The man that threw fire was an under-looked icon.

ACE was not going to back down to anyone. Ventura was idolized by many as a man with a passion. His smile radiated the stadium every time he was on the diamond.

As baseball fans, we relive his smile in our brains as the lights of the stadium seem to shut off. His passion for the game burns inside every person he has ever meet. As his teammates feel the sting of losing a brother, the city feels the sting of losing a home-grown legend.

To fans, his legacy helped build bonds that will never be broken, as the fan base thinks of what could have been. What would the future have held for such a hard working, young individual? What could he have accomplished with the Royals? The questions race as fans celebrate what he was and who he was.

The impact he made to people’s everyday lives is irreplaceable. Fans realized the impact as people around the Kansas City area gathered together as a family, leaving flowers and Royals’ memorabilia to immortalize Ventura in front of Kauffman Stadium. People arrived throughout the day to remember his name and what it means to be true blue through and through. As the candles were lit for the memorial Sunday night, people celebrated Ventura and his ability to throw fire fastballs, as the fire he left at Kauffman Stadium was extinguished forever.

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