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Family, fans mourn for Royals' Ventura

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

LAS TERRENAS, Dominican Republic (AP) Dozens of children wearing blue T-shirts with the name "Ventura" emblazoned on the back gathered around a coastal home on Monday to pay their respects to their idol: Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura.

He died Sunday in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic, where he was known for practicing with his former youth baseball team every time he visited the Caribbean country, said Silvano Santos, who coached Ventura from age 7 to 14.

"He was an inspiration to every kid," Santos told The Associated Press, recalling how Ventura took time to meet with members of the Kelly youth team that he once played for and gave them gifts, including uniform T-shirts.

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