Red Sox to celebrate 'Thanks, Tek Day'

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Red Sox to celebrate 'Thanks, Tek Day'

First there were the retirement press conferences of Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. Then there was the 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park, and Tim Wakefield's "Thanks, Wake Day." It's been a season full of remembering good times for the Red Sox, but the festivities aren't quite over yet.

The Red Sox will honor Varitek on July 21 with "Thanks, Tek Day" at Fenway Park. The club plays the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:10 p.m. The pre-game ceremony tribute is expected to begin at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Here are some impressive numbers to remember about the former Red Sox backstop when you're toasting him later this month:

Named the 18th full-time captain in Red Sox history on December 24, 2004 and was behind the plate in a club-record 1,488 contests.

Appeared in 15 seasons with the club, the fourth-longest tenured Red Sox ever who never played for another Major League team behind Carl Yastrzemski (23), Ted Williams (19) and Jim Rice (16).

A three-time All-Star (2003, 2005 and 2008).

Named the Red Sox Rookie of the Year in 1998.

Boston's team MVP in 2003.

First Boston catcher ever to win a Silver Slugger Award when he received the honor in 2005, the same year he was also honored with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Won World Series Championships with Boston in 2004 and 2007 and is the clubs all-time postseason leader in games (63) and at-bats (228).

Ranks second among Red Sox postseason leaders in runs (37), hits (54), doubles (12) and home runs (tied, 11), and is third in RBI (33).

Third in all-time postseason starts (58) and games at catcher (62), behind Jorge Posada (106, 119) and Yogi Berra (61, 63).

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.