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Kansas City Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez took the mound to start Game 1 of the World Series — and pitched six innings without knowing that his father had just died.
Royals manager Ned Yost dispelled initial reports that Volquez learned about his dad's death on the way to the stadium, telling a press conference after his win over the Mets that the news had been withheld.
“We found out about it before the game and the wishes of the family was, you know, let Eddie pitch," Yost explained following a 14-inning marathon. "After the game is when he found out."
The Associated Press reported just before Game 1 that Daniel Volquez, 63, had died after battling heart disease in the Dominican Republic.
Yost said after the game that it wasn't his place to tell Edinson Volquez about his father — but was worried his pitcher might find out somehow given how the news was already circulating.
FOX Sports did not report the death during its game broadcast out of fear Volquez might see the program while in the clubhouse, according to one of the network's reporters.
A contingency plan was put in place in case Volquez couldn't pitch. Yost said he went to Chris Young — whose father died in September — and told him "to be ready" in case Volquez found out before hitting the mound.
"You know how tough that can be," he explained. "It's a very, very tough thing, especially right before you're about to go out and pitch — it'd be almost impossible to do that in Game 1 of the World Series."
Yost said it was hard to watch Volquez pitch six innings, knowing what only a few in the dugout were aware of.
"I mean, it's his first start in a World Series game, and his dad isn't watching," Yost said, according to MLB.com. "It was hard for me to know what I knew, and to see him compete the way that he competed. It's just hard."
Volquez pitched six innings — and was given the news after he left the mound, joining family members in the clubhouse. He left the stadium before the game ended, according to Yost.
Most of Volquez's teammates were also in the dark, according to The Associated Press.
"I found out in, I think it was the 14th inning, right before we won the game," left-fielder Alex Gordon said according to the news agency. "I was standing next to Ned and he told me, he said, 'Let's win this game for Volquez.'"
The Royals defeated the Mets 5-4 in the 14th inning.