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Sights from a day with Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura in his hometown

The Star’s Vahe Gregorian and Dave Eulitt stopped for lunch by the ocean with Yordano Ventura in his hometown of Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic.
The Star’s Vahe Gregorian and Dave Eulitt stopped for lunch by the ocean with Yordano Ventura in his hometown of Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic. The Kansas City Star

So, we managed to get some separation from the 6-degree conditions in Kansas City on Sunday morning after not sliding off Interstate 29, and via a helter-skelter connection in Atlanta.

And now Star photographer Dave Eulitt and I are spending our first day in the tropics retracing the roots of Royals phenom Yordano Ventura, who says he will always make the town of Las Terrenas, in the Dominican province of Samana, his home.

Courtesy of Rene Francisco, the Royals’ gracious and generous assistant general manager for international operations who served as our guide and translator, we traveled three hours from Santo Domingo to the slice of paradise where Yordano was raised.

We went to his youth baseball field, the childhood home where his family still lives, the beach where he swims and runs, the 145-step stairs he runs 8-10 times every other day, and his favorite place to grab a bite: Restaurant Luis on the beach in Coson, where we ate grouper fresh out of the ocean.

Overwhelmed with the day, there’s lots to process as we drive back in a sudden rainstorm that has temporarily minimized the number of mopeds we have to dodge.

The evening and rest of the week will no doubt hold more adventure as we seek to know better Ventura and the land from which he comes.

Stay tuned…

UPDATE: Dave gets hit by a pitch.

UPDATE: Vahe takes in a Dominican winter league game.

To reach Vahe Gregorian, call 816-234-4868 or send email to vgregorian@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @vgregorian.

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