Royals FanFest expected to have a more somber mood and plenty of tributes to “Ace”

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Many fans made the pilgrimage to Kauffman Stadium Sunday to pay their respects after learning about the death of pitcher Yordano Ventura, and on Monday team officials plan to move that memorial closer to the stadium so they can place a canopy over it and protect it from the weather.

Royals’ officials have been moved by the fans' tributes to Ventura, which include a book fans are signing to give to his family.

They came by all day and left flowers, Dominican Republic flags, T-shirts and all sorts of mementos. They cried and prayed, sad to see such a great talent dead at such a young age. They also released balloons – 25 white ones for his age, 30 blue ones for his jersey number.

Royals FanFest is set for this coming weekend. Royals officials say the event will go on as planned because Ventura’s funeral will be on Tuesday in the Dominican Republic. But they add it will have a more somber tone this year, and they plan to have plenty of tributes to Ace, the nickname Ventura’s teammates gave him.

"Every time he pitched you wanted to watch," Royals fan Nan Beam said. "Every single time. He could have hit somebody, he could have struck out 15 or thrown a no hitter... You don`t know, but you wanted to watch Ventura every single time he came out. And not to have that anymore is a real loss."

"It's sad" Royals fan Christina Nuñez added. "I never got to meet him, but I feel like he was a part of my family. He was just like my little brother. Sometimes you want to choke him, he's got a bad temper, but he did smile and he just brought everything together."