Wilson Ramos: Nationals catcher kidnapped
Wilson Ramos, the talented young catcher for the Washington Nationals, was reportedly kidnapped by armed gunmen from his home in Venezuela on Wednesday night.
Viva Colorado, the Denver Post’s Spanish-language edition, reported Ramos was with his father and two brothers in Santa Ines when four men burst inside with guns, kidnapped him and drove off in a green SUV. Santa Ines is about 95 miles west of the capital of Caracas.
Ramos was playing winter ball in his home country.
Kidnapping famous people — or their relatives — and demanding ransom money is not uncommon in Venezuela. Former Marlins pitcher Ugueth Urbina’s mother was kidnapped in 2005, before police stormed the kidnappers’ location and rescued her.
The catcher was a rookie in 2011 and batted .267 with 15 home runs and 52 runs batted in in 113 games. He is considered to be a big part of the team’s ongoing youth movement anchored by No. 1 overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
UPDATE (Nov. 10, 1 p.m.): Officials in Venezuela report that they found the vehicle used to capture Ramos about an hour from his home, but it was empty. They do believe Ramos is still alive, though no ransom has been demanded.
MLB and the Nationals released an official statement Thursday morning: “Our foremost concerns are with Wilson Ramos and his family and our thoughts are with them at this time. Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations is working with the appropriate authorities on this matter. Both Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals have been instructed to make no further comment.”