Thousands came together Tuesday in Yordano Ventura’s hometown of Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic to pay tribute to the late Kansas City Royals pitcher.
The throngs of people attending Ventura’s funeral included many of his Royals teammates, other major league players and recently retired slugger David Ortiz, a fellow Dominican Republic native.
Ortiz, who tweeted his sorrow Sunday after learning Ventura, 25, had been killed in a car crash over the weekend, spoke to ESPN at Tuesday’s funeral and quickly got choked up while remembering his fellow countryman.
The beginning of the clip also shows the former Boston Red Sox designated hitter hugging and comforting Marisol Hernandez, Ventura’s mother.
“I used to talk to him a lot and give him advice,” Ortiz said in the video. “Because when I see that young talent, especially coming from my country, I always want to make sure that everything goes good with him. But man…”
Ortiz trailed off before tearing up in front of the camera.
Ortiz’s former teammate and ex-Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez also was present for part of Ventura’s funeral.
Martinez on Twitter recently called for an investigation into Ventura’s death, suggesting that the Royals pitcher may have been robbed and left for dead shortly after his accident.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images