For many fans, the Royals hit a home run before Monday’s home opener at Kauffman Stadium.
A pregame ceremony to honor the late Yordano Ventura included a saxophonist playing “Amazing Grace,” a tribute on the Crown Vision board and a large “ACE 30” banner was unfurled. Gold, blue and white balloons were released, Ventura’s mother threw out the first pitch and there was a B-2 flyover during the national anthem as a giant U.S. flag covered the outfield.
Fans at Kauffman Stadium were moved by the display.
“It was sad,” said Shad Smith of Kansas City. “It was just sad. All the potential that he had. It was very touching. That music, the solo was impressive.”
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Smith wasn’t the only one who was touched.
“I thought it was awesome. It was emotional,” said Stephanie MacEwan of Topeka. “The whole Ventura thing, but just the big flag with all the soldiers with everything going on right now, that was more emotional to me.”
“Oh my God, I cried,” said MacEwan’s friend, Heather.
She wasn’t alone. A lot of people watching at home shed a tear.