Royals remember Yordano Ventura on Opening Day in Kansas City - KCTV5

Royals remember Yordano Ventura on Opening Day in Kansas City

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The Royals put up a banner outside the clubhouse and a memorial at his locker.  (Andrew Carter/KCTV5 News) The Royals put up a banner outside the clubhouse and a memorial at his locker. (Andrew Carter/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Royals have been through spring training and six games already without Yordano Ventura.

But seeing his Ventura's mother throw out the first pitch Monday for the Kansas City Royals home opener, manager Ned Yost said before the game would be the hardest and most emotional moment they’ve experienced yet.

The Royals put up a banner outside the clubhouse and a memorial at his locker. They covered the mound with a plastic ACE 30 cover before the game and have his number on the Hall of Fame. The Royals also sporting that black patch on their jersey sleeves.

Yost says you don’t ever separate emotions from the game. This is life, and the game is just that, a game. This is and was so much bigger.

“I don’t think you can ever disassociate yourself from that or make yourself numb to that because he was such a big part of us, and he was still very much a part of who we are. It’s still heartbreaking to a lot of guys in there. It just takes time, and it’s the only thing that is going to heal things is time," Yost said.

And the players don’t want to separate emotions from the game. The pregame tribute is a time to remember how precious life is.

“He holds a special place in all of our hearts. For everybody, it will be different. For me, it will be a remembrance of all the good times we had and all the good memories he left with us," Drew Butera said. “We’ve got to take a positive out of it. So he’s going to be an inspiration for us and we’ve gotta move forward.”

"I know it will be hard, but I think for a lot of us it will provide some amount of closure. It’s be good for us and healing for everyone involved," Danny Duffy said.

Duffy also said that the banner in the dugout and the tribute to Ventura reminds them they are playing for more than themselves. It’s them carrying Ventura out there with them.

VIDEO: Ace 30 banner revealed before the game. (Click here if you cannot see on the app.)

VIDEO: Yordano Ventura's mother throws out the first pitch. (Click here if you cannot see on the app.)

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