Yordano Ventura mom first pitch

Home openers are some of the most exciting events for every baseball fan, but this year’s was bittersweet for the Kansas City Royals. In a touching moment, the mother of former pitcher Yordano Ventura threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Monday at Kauffman Stadium.

Ventura died in January from injuries sustained in a car crash. He was 25 years old. Having his mother, Marisol Hernandez, on hand was an appropriate way for the Royals to remember their late teammate on an emotional day.

As you can make out in that video, the Royals are also wearing “ACE 30” patches on the right sleeves of their jerseys this year to honor Ventura. (Ace was his nickname and 30 was his jersey number.)

Ventura had $20 million left on his contract at the time of his death. Whether his estate would get that money depended on the results of his toxicology report, which will not be made public.

[Sports Illustrated]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a senior at Northwestern University studying journalism. He has previously worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. If he's not watching sports, he's probably listening to and/or making music. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.