Baseball fans will likely recognize the names of two men killed in a car crash Thursday night in Venezuela: Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo. Valbuena, 33, played in the big leagues with multiple teams for 11 seasons, as recently as last season with the Los Angeles Angels, reports ESPN. Castillo, 37, played in the majors as an infielder from 2004 to 2008 with the Pirates, Giants, and Astros. Authorities say both men were in the same car that veered off the road as the driver, a chauffeur, tried to avoid a rock sliding into the road. Some reports say the car actually struck the rock.
A third former major-league player, Carlos Rivero, also was in the car but survived, along with the driver, reports the Los Angeles Times. All three played for Cardenales de Lara, a professional team in a winter ball league. They had just played a game in Caracas and were en route to the city of Barquisimeto when the accident occurred. Fans might remember Valbuena best for a particular habit: He liked to flip his bat after successful plate appearances, notes the Houston Chronicle. He played for the Astros, Cubs, Indians, and Mariners, along with the Angels. (Read more Major League Baseball stories.)