Edinson Volquez started Game One on Tuesday for Kansas City, with ESPN reporting that he had learned on his way to the ballpark that his father had died earlier in the day in the Dominican and the Royals saying that he was unaware. Manager Ned Yost told reporters after the game that Volquez' family had asked that he not be told until after he had pitched.
There is precedent in baseball history for World Series pitchers to take the ball in the immediate wake of their fathers' death.
In 1940, the colorful Louis Norman Newsom -- better known as Bobo or Buck -- went 21-5, 2,83 for the Detroit Tigers. He started Game One in Cincinnati and beat the Reds, 7-2. His father, who was in attendance, had a heart attack after the game and died the next morning. The rest of the family accompanied the body home; Bobo remained with the team and threw an 8-0 shutout in Game Five. The rubber-armed Newsom then started Game Seven on one day's rest but lost 2-1. (A reporter supposedly asked the braggadocious Newsom if he was going to pitch Game Seven for his father; Newsom s reply was, "No, I'm going to pitch this one for Bobo.")
Two years later, in 1942, Mort Cooper went 22-7 for the St. Louis Cardinals, leading the league in wins, ERA and shutouts en route to winning the MVP award. Manager Billy Southworth elected to have Max Lanier pitch Game One, with Cooper working Game Two. Hours before that game, Cooper learned that his father had died. He and brother Walker, the Cardinals catcher, played anyway and remained with the team until the Series ended; Cooper won Game Two 4-3 with a complete game and was the starter and loser (2-0) in the series' Game Five finale.
It's unclear as I write this what Volquez will do -- go immediately to the Dominican or stay with the team (he is presumably their Game Five starter). I won't think badly of either decision, and I doubt any of his teammates would either.