During the pregame Opening Day ceremonies at Kauffman Stadium, Eric Hosmer took the mic and delivered a heartfelt tribute to the dearly departed Yordano Ventura.
Is it dusty in here?
Later, Yordano Ventura’s mother Marisol threw out the first pitch, first writing “Dios”, or “God” in Spanish, on the mound.
Yordano's mom draws the word "Dios," God in Spanish in the dirt behind the pitcher's mound where Yo threw fire. pic.twitter.com/4VsDTdTEoO— Jeff Rosen (@jeff_rosen88) April 10, 2017
Between the Ace 30 banner held behind the mound by teammates, knowing how the mound was his refuge in a turbulent 2016, and Hosmer’s heartfelt thank you to the Royals baseball community both in attendance and watching at home, it was hard not to be moved to tears.
The whole year has been rough for the Royals and Royals’ fans with the specter of Ventura’s tragic death looming over everything, but this was about as classy and cathartic as anyone could have envisioned. Judging by the way every Royal taps the patch on their sleeve when they’ve done well, it’s hard not to see how this season will be filled with constant miniature tributes to the mercurial flamethrower with a special place in all of our hearts.