Following the death of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura in a highway crash on Jan. 22, one former ballplayer has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of driving in the Dominican Republic.
The campaign is at the heart of a new HBO Real Sports segment, which debuts at 9 p.m. Tuesday on the cable network. Amaury Telemaco, a former big-league pitcher and coach in the Pirates’ system, tells Real Sports correspondent Jon Frankel about the hazards of the roads and highways in the Dominican Republic. He laments the culture of driving under the influence and unenforced traffic laws.
The story highlights the deaths of Ventura and Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras. The Star, which has reported extensively on the circumstances surrounding Ventura’s death, viewed the segment this week. It includes a brief interview with Ventura’s mother, Marisol Hernandez, who recalls her son paying tribute to Taveras during the 2014 World Series.
“Maybe when my son did that,” Hernandez says, “it never crossed his mind that he was going to die in a car accident the same way Oscar died.”