Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in his native country of Venezuela. Ramos, a 24-year-old rookie for the Nationals is a promising prospect who had a .267 batting average with 15 home runs and 57 Runs Batted in (RBI). Ramos was about to begin an approximately ten game stint with a Venezuelan winter league team. Ramos was kidnapped on Wednesday, November 9th from his home in Venezuela by four armed men. There has been no ransom request as of November 10th.
Venezuela has seen an increase in kidnapping and other crime over the last few years. With and increase in crime, Major League players must soon question if it is safe to play on winter league teams in other countries. Ramos’ kidnapping was the highest profile kidnapping of Major League players or their families, but not the first. The brother of Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco was kidnapped and killed in 2008. In 2009, Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s son was kidnapped but was returned after a ransom was paid.
Fortunately, Ramos was rescued about two days after he was kidnapped from his home. Police who had earlier found the car used to kidnap Ramos, found the cabin used to prepare for the kidnapping. As police closed in, bullets began to fly as the four kidnappers fought back. Nobody was killed in the firefight and Ramos, who hid under a bed during the firefight, was returned to his family, friends, and the game he loves.