Now the Royals are beginning to pay tribute to the hard thrower, who was such a vital part of their recent triumphs. Already the team has unveiled the simple and tasteful sleeve patch that they'll wear during the 2017 season.
The Royals on Friday began their annual FanFest in Kansas City, and the dominating absence of Ventura was readily apparent. For instance, this image has been on the Kauffman Stadium video board for days now:
As for FanFest, the highlight was a pitcher's mound built inside the Kansas City Convention Center by the Kauffman groundscrew to honor Ventura. Via the Kansas City Star, here's a look at the process:
And the finished product:
That's a beautiful image and a fitting tribute to No. 30.
There was also a signature wall set up to honor Ventura, and Danny Duffy was among those who left a message for Ventura:
Needless to say, emotions were still raw. Here's Mike Moustakas at FanFest recalling his favorite memory of Ventura:
It's going to be a long and difficult healing process for the Royals, but getting back to baseball and again being among some of the most abiding fans in baseball will surely help.