Yordano Ventura 1991-2017
all blessings to his family and friends


Sincerest compassion for Ventura's family, teammates, as well as the 'sickened' fans at Royals Review, and others who care deeply.  Jeff Sullivan has a surprisingly good article in memoriam.

Not that it would ever be surprising for Sullivan to be good, but, he was willing to Go There on several thoughts that are sometimes considered verboten.  Mixing my own thoughts with Jeff's:


(1) Many condolences.  C.S. Lewis once pointed out that a man is more concerned with his own 5 minutes' real toothache than he is with a tsunami halfway across the world.  That's certainly true of me.  About 150,000 human beings died on the day that Ventura did, and only the barest fraction made the slightest impression on me.  I always feel bad about my own self-absorption.  Events like this help shake us out of that, a little bit.

(2) If alcohol was involved in the car crash, that's a shame.  But I don't feel anything other than sympathy.  (Granted, he endangered others, but then again he paid a price for that, in great disproportion to his actual offense.)  Back in the day, I drove buzzed a time or two.  So have most of my best friends and family.  If you never have, great.  The other 80%, 90% of us can raise an eyebrow and give thanks.  But for the grace of God, there go I.

That said, you would think that athletes have gotten their wake-up call at this point, wouldn't you?

(3) Jeff says, "Our world is governed by the reality of impermanence."  Especially those of us who have been through super-serious medical diagnoses.  Thanks for going there, Sully.  No one is too young to die, because death is merely a gateway from a less-important realm into a more-important one.  Or, everyone is too young to die.  Eccl. 7:2 'Better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will take it to heart.'

Trying to decide whether to work overtime Saturday, or play catch with your son?  Which will you regret, a few minutes before the second number on the tombstone?  :- )  One of life's great compass headings, here.  Two numbers and a dash on the headstone; the dash is all ours.

(4) As Jeff points out, there's nothing wrong with thinking about baseball a little bit, too.  I hope the Royals bounce back and have a good year in 2017.  Have no idea whether that would be typical, but I'm curious whether it is.


I liked Yordano Ventura and would have been happy for him to be a Mariner.  I like very young athletes who are full of spit and vinegar, even at the cost of some controversy sometimes.  Do hope that Ventura mixed some reverence in with his gusto for life.

Much respect,



RockiesJeff's picture

Excellent words from one who's life is a vapor to the rest of us in the same situation. I was writing to a friend from the Dominican Republic about the tragic number of deaths of young ball players. He had given me the news early about Ventura being robbed. It is amazing how ugly humanity can be when life is always on a very thin thread. 

It isn't just foreign ballplayers coming from extreme poverty and then instantly given more money that often their maturity-level could possibly handle or thinking they are invincible. One of the great events of my life was to attend with my family our oldest son's graduation from Marine Boot Camp. There families were warned with an urgence of what is a common danger for new Marines headed  for home on their first leave - an extreme sense of invincibility. Reality - None of us are!

Sad events. Thanks for the good words!

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