For Pete's Sake

Cardinals pitcher paid tribute to Yordano Ventura in Sunday’s opener

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez started his season by remembering a pair of players from his native Dominican Republic who have died in car accidents.

Before Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs, Martinez etched the numbers 18 (for former Cardinal Oscar Taveras) and 30 (for former Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura) on the back of the pitcher’s mound.

“There were a lot of emotions going through me,” Martinez told’s Jenifer Langosch after the game via a translator. “It was an honor to have been like a brother to both of them. And for me, every time I go on the mound, I dedicate every single game to them because they taught me to live my life to the fullest.”

Ventura died in January, while Taveras passed away during the 2014 World Series.

The Royals appreciated the gesture:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff