Eric Hosmer is now officially a member of the San Diego Padres, and he will be for the next five to eight years. His new contract ends his tenure with the only other team Hosmer has ever known, the Kansas City Royals. The Royals drafted Hosmer, he made his debut with them, and he won a World Series with them. For some players, that could be a career. For Hosmer, it was just his first seven years in the majors.
With his new team, Hosmer had to pick a new uniform number since his No. 35 is retired in San Diego to honor Randy Jones. That gave Hosmer the chance to honor a fallen friend and teammate. Hosmer instead will wear No. 30, which has special meaning to him. That was the number of Yordano Ventura, the Royals pitcher who died on January 22, 2017 in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.
Ventura’s death affected the entire team, but Hosmer especially. The two were very close, with Hosmer even mentoring Ventura at times. Hosmer wore an “Ace 30” armband during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and spoke to the fans at the memorial before the Royals’ first home game last season — the first game after Ventura’s death. Wearing 30 on the Padres is the perfect way for Hosmer to honor Ventura and to keep his memory alive.
Consider this from The Athletic’s Dennis Lin:
Eric Hosmer told Glenn Hoffman yesterday it would mean a lot if he could wear No. 30 in honor of Yordano Ventura. Hoffman agreed to the idea. "It really meant a lot to me," Hosmer said. "I'll wear it with pride each and every day."
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) February 20, 2018
Hosmer went through a lot with the Royals, both on and off the field. He may be on a new team, but it’s clear he’s not going to forget where he came from, and people like Yordano Ventura who helped make him the man and player he is today.
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