KANSAS CITY -- Yordano Ventura's mother, Marisol, arrived from the Dominican Republic to see her son pitch for the first time in the Major Leagues.
"I'm so, so thrilled because it's a dream come true," she said through an interpreter before his start against the Orioles on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
A mirror image of her smiling son, she said he began playing baseball when he was four or five years old and by the time he was a teenager, it was apparent he had special talent.
"When he was 15, he was playing pitcher, catcher and shortstop. At that time I finally realized that he was special and told him, 'You have to decide which position you like best and work hard on that to be successful,'" she said.
Pitching obviously worked best, and the Royals signed him when he was 17, skinny but hard-throwing even then.
As a mother, she was asked if her boy was always a little angel.
"No, no, no. Not at all," she said. "He was mischievous and a rebel. But he was not impolite and never answered back when he was reprimanded."
And, she said with a smile, Yordano has always been good to his mother.
For his part, Ventura wanted badly to give his mother a victory.
"I was very emotional about having my mother see me pitch live, and I wanted to do a good job so she could see what good son she has," he said after the 2-1 loss. "I wanted to pitch well and I gave it everything I could."
Mom was very supportive.
"Yordano's outing was pretty good in my opinion -- 6 1/3 innings, two earned runs and nine strikeouts," she said. "The Royals' bats were quiet tonight, but that's part of baseball."
Yost expects to rest Davis with stiff neck
KANSAS CITY -- Royals setup reliever Wade Davis was experiencing neck stiffness and was not expected to be used in Thursday night's game against the Orioles.
"Wade showed up yesterday with a bit of a stiff neck," manager Ned Yost said before the opener of a four-game series. "He's still fighting it a little bit right now. He's going to come out and play a little catch, but Wade was unavailable yesterday."
That was why Kelvin Herrera pitched the eighth inning in Wednesday night's 3-2 victory over the Rockies. Herrera turned in a perfect inning.
After pregame practice on Thursday, Davis was reported to be "a little better," but Yost indicated he'd avoid using him if possible.
"We've got the arms down there to cover it," Yost said.
Apparently there was no baseball-related cause for Davis' stiff neck. He just woke up with it on Wednesday.
"His pillow caused it," Yost said.
'Beisbol' exhibit to open at Negro Leagues Museum
KANSAS CITY -- A new exhibit exploring the cultural and historical connection between the Negro Leagues and Latin American baseball is about to begin a 4 1/2-month run in Kansas City.
"Negro Leagues Beisbol" will open at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 East 18th St., and continue through Sept. 30 in the museum's Changing Gallery during regular hours of operation.
The exhibit, presented by Sprint and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, is free to the public.
It explores the relationship between American-born Negro Leaguers and players of Hispanic descent, who often played in each other's leagues.
"Baseball has bridged the gap between race and cultures unlike any other sport. Our new exhibit is an enlightening examination of a shared legacy that many baseball fans never knew existed," said museum president Bob Kendrick. "The Negro Leagues didn't care what color you were. All that mattered to them was 'can you play?' That mindset helped make baseball the global game it is today."
Kendrick said the exhibit will include rare memorabilia, never-displayed photos from museum archives, art collection "Painted Gloves" by Sean Kane, and Spanish newspaper clippings and cartoons from the scrapbook of legendary player Oscar Charleston.
There will be an autograph and discussion session from 1-3 p.m. CT on Saturday at the museum with former Negro Leaguers Enrique Maroto, Pedro Sierra, Hank Mason, George Altman, Carl Long, Ernie Johnson, Gil Carter, Ulysses Hollimon and Bob Motley. Autographs are free with a paid admission to the museum (limit one signed item per person).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.