Nationals Catcher Ramos Kidnapped in Native Venezuela
Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was abducted from his Venezuelan home on Wednesday. Getty Images
Having just arrived home for the northern hemisphere winter, Ramos was settling back in to play for a Venezuelan team, the Aragua Tigers when four men driving an SUV abducted the young talent.
Venezuela is considered dangerous for those perceived as having ties to the United States. Frequent kidnappings and homicides in Venezuela are often drug-related. They are usually perpetrated against those who are believed to be rich and able to insure a quick delivery of large ransoms. However, for the moment, the kidnappers have yet to come forward and issue any demands.
Ramos is one of the most promising young players in the Major Leagues. As a rookie last year, Ramos batted .267 and hit 15 home runs. He blossomed into the Nationals’ every-day Catcher last season after playing a few games in 2010 for Washington and few more in 2009 for Minnesota.
Due to international relations between the countries, citizens of the US have been warned not venture into Venezuela. Extradition is non-existent, thus providing another motive for kidnappers.
This is believed to be the first kidnapping of a MLB player. But, former Major Leaguer Victor Zambrano’s mother and then-Rockies‘ Yorvit Torrealba brother-in-law and son have been kidnapped in the last couple of years, making the most recent incident fairly precedented.