Ramos Rescued

The Nationals catcher was held captive by kidnappers in Venezuela for two days.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

What a week it’s been. In fact, it hasn’t been but a few weeks since the tragic death of racecar driver Dan Wheldon, and now not only do we have the on-going tragedy at Penn State and the NBA lockout, but we can now add a kidnapping to that list.

Reports say Wilson Ramos was outside the front door of his home in Valencia with his father and two brothers when an SUV approached, unveiling four armed men that would then kidnap the Nationals catcher.

It was a highly sophisticated effort that was done simply for economic gain. However, after two days being held captive, Ramos was finally rescued on Friday in the mountains in the state of Carabobo, about 40 miles northwest of where he was kidnapped.

"I remember the authorities showing up outside and there was a gunfight," Ramos said. "I think it lasted about 15 minutes. I was under the bed. I was so afraid. All of a sudden I hear the police calling my name. 'Wilson! Wilson!' And I answered, 'I'm here! I'm here!' They got me off the floor and got me back home. I am so grateful."

Neighbors outside of Ramos’ home held a candlelight vigil in his honor while he was being held, as well as fans at a baseball game in his home city. Major League Baseball says it is the first kidnapping of a player that they can recall.

There are currently 87 players in the major leagues that hail from Venezuela, none of whom have been kidnapped. However, due to the rising crime in the country, kidnappings have skyrocketed over recent years, and have included relatives of baseball stars that have only been returned for ransom. Although rare, some of the country’s kidnappings have ended in murder.

Ramos hit .267 and 15 home runs in split-time duty alongside Pudge Rodriguez for Washington last year in what was a break out season for the 24 year old.

 

Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS