Venezuelan baseball fans mourn death of ex-major leaguers

Venezuelan baseball fans mourn death of ex-major leaguers
Players from the Cardenales de Lara baseball team carry the caskets of teammates and former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. Valbuena and Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas) (Nestor Vivas)

BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (AP) — Dozens of Venezuelans waited in line outside a chapel in the state of Lara on Saturday, hoping to bid farewell to former major league baseball player Luis Valbuena, who was killed in a car accident along with teammate Jose Castillo.

The corpse of Castillo was moved earlier in the morning to a different central-west state.

The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo were both former players for the Houston Astros.

They died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object put on the road. Officials said some bandits place or throw objects on highways to force vehicles to stop so they can rob the occupants.

Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said four people were detained after being found with property of the athletes.

Players from the Cardenales de Lara baseball team carry the caskets of teammates and former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. Valbuena and Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas)
Players from the Cardenales de Lara baseball team carry the caskets of teammates and former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. Valbuena and Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas) (AP)

Valbuena and Castillo were teammates on the Cardenales de Lara team in the Venezuelan winter league and were returning from a game in the capital when the crash occurred en route to the city of Barquisimeto in Lara.

No others details about the incident were available.

On Saturday, their deaths caused an outpouring of grief as fellow teammates, family members and fans wore shirts from the winter league and lined up to say goodbye.

The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are draped with their uniforms and surrounded by teammates from Cardenales de Lara, during a Mass at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. A farewell ceremony for the two former MLB baseball players who died late Thursday. Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan league said their vehicle overturned as they were heading to the city of Barquisimeto after a game in the capital, Caracas. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas)
The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are draped with their uniforms and surrounded by teammates from Cardenales de Lara, during a Mass at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. A farewell ceremony for the two former MLB baseball players who died late Thursday. Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan league said their vehicle overturned as they were heading to the city of Barquisimeto after a game in the capital, Caracas. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas) (AP)

Retired Cardenales player Robert Perez and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera were both in attendance.

Cardenales third baseman Carlos Rivero, who survived the crash, visited the chapel wearing dark sunglasses and bearing a small bruise on his forehead.

Valbuena hit .226 with 114 home runs over 11 big league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.

The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are draped with their uniforms and surrounded by teammates from Cardenales de Lara, during a Mass at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas)
The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are draped with their uniforms and surrounded by teammates from Cardenales de Lara, during a Mass at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas) (AP)

Castillo played five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros. He had a .254 average with 39 home runs.

The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are carried by fellow players on the team Cardenales de Lara, after arrival at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas)
The caskets with the bodies of former major league baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo are carried by fellow players on the team Cardenales de Lara, after arrival at a baseball stadium in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. The two were killed in a car crash caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday. The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object placed in the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Nestor Vivas) (AP)