Two former major league baseball players, Luis Valbuena and José Castillo, were killed in a car crash in Venezuela, on Thursday.
The men, both of whom were Venezuelan natives, were playing winter league ball in the country.
Two other men in the car, including the driver and Carlos Rivero, who briefly played for the Boston Red Sox, survived the crash, in Yaracuy, 180 miles west of Caracas.
Valbuena, 33, an infielder, played for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
Never a star, he contributed mostly off the bench. He hit 25 home runs for the Astros in 2015, and his best batting average was .260 the next year.
He was released by the Angels in August after hitting .199.
Castillo, 37, played as an infielder in the majors from 2004 to 2008 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Astros. He moved on to sign for teams in China and Japan.
Both men were playing for the Lara Cardinals in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. They were traveling from Caracas, where they had won a game, back to the team’s home base, Barquisimeto.
Valbuena was one of the Lara Cardinals’ best players, hitting .282 with a team-leading 22 r.b.i. The team is currently in first place, three games up on the Magellan Navigators.
The players’ deaths recall a January day in 2017 when two ballplayers, Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte, died in separate car crashes in their home country, the Dominican Republic.