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."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.