SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (  — Authorities in the Dominican Republic say that Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte both have died in separate traffic accidents.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo says Ventura, 25, died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it’s not clear if Ventura was driving.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte, 33,  died when a car he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles  north of the capital. reported, “Eerily, Ventura was on the mound as the opposing pitcher for Marte’s last major league game on Aug. 6, 2014.”

Ventura was, perhaps, best known in baseball circles for being a scrappy player who refused to back down from the opposition. This is a more polite way of saying he often started fights or bench-clearing incidents. The past three seasons, the Royals were involved in more than their fair share of on-the-field scrapes, and Ventura was most often in the center of them.

In June 2016, fed up with his bad boy behavior, Fan Graphs editorialized, “MLB Should Throw The Book At Yordano Ventura.”

Still, he was beloved by his teammates and respected by his peers. Both took to Twitter to express their sadness.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the following comment Sunday about the double tragedy.

“Today is a very sad day for our entire game and particularly for the many loyal fans in the Dominican Republic, the home of both Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte.

Yordano was a key figure in the Royals’ recent success. His electric talent on the mound helped lead the Royals to two American League pennants and the 2015 World Championship. Andy was a respected member of six organizations who played seven Major League seasons, including for the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2010.

On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to the families, teammates, friends and fans of both players.”

For more on Marte’s baseball career , click here.

For more on Ventura’s baseball career, click here.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017  CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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