Kidnapped! Washington Nationals Catcher, Wilson Ramos, Abducted in his Native Venezuela
Ramos, 24, was approached by four armed men near his home in Santa Ines in central Carabobo state and taken away in a car, according to El Nacional, a Venezuelan newspaper as reported by USA Today.
A person close to Ramos’ family, who asked not to be quoted by name out of safety concerns, told the Associated Press that the catcher was at home with his father and brothers when several men “entered the house and took him away.”
“As of this hour, there has been no contact” between the kidnappers and Ramos’ family, the person said.
Ramos’ Venezuelan winter league team, Tigres de Aragua, has also confirmed the kidnapping on Twitter.
“This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped,” team spokeswoman Kathe Vilera said via Twitter. She said Ramos was taken at 6:45 p.m. at his home in the region 95 miles (150 kilometers) west of Caracas. She said police were notified.
According to the Associated Press, judicial police in Venezuela said the gunmen entered Ramos’ home.
Ramos is considered one of the Nationals’ key young players as they try to become a contender in the National League East the AP reports and as a rookie in 2011, he hit .267 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs in 113 games. He also threw out 19 of 67 runners attempting to steal a base, a 28 percent success rate that ranked third among qualifying catchers in the National League.
The abduction appeared to be the first case involving a Major League Baseball player, but it’s not the first for families of wealthy athletes. The AP has additional information on other families that have been targeted.