Washington Nationals catcher Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela
Wilson Ramos, the catcher for the Washington Nationals, has been kidnapped outside of his home in Valencia, Venezuela. Ramos, a young up and coming star in the Nationals’ organization, had headed back to his native Venezuela to play with Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League.
A report from El Nacional, stated that the catcher, 24, was kidnapped by four armed gunmen who entered his house Wednesday night, took Ramos, and put him in a green van and sped away. Tigres de Aragua confirmed Ramos’ kidnapping earlier tonight via Twitter.
According to various reports, Ramos’ family has not yet been in contact with the kidnappers.
Kidnapping is not an uncommon practice in Venezuela, and has even been referred to as a “growing industry” by the State Department. A 2009 article in TIME stated that Venezuela has the highest kidnapping rate in the Western hemisphere. However, in a practice that has been referred to as “express kidnapping,” in many cases the kidnappers drive around until they receive ransom payment and then return the victim soon after, frequently unharmed.
Ramos, or “Ramo” as he is known to his teammates, is one of the Nationals’ best young players. He hit .267 this season with 15 homeruns and will most likely garner a few Rookie of the Year votes.
As news of the kidnapping spreads, a few of Ramos’ teammates have voiced their concern and support via Twitter.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ramo and his family!” tweeted reliever Tyler Clippard. “This is awful, I don’t know what to think!”
“Extremely upsetting news about Ramo.” added Drew Storen, whose profile picture on Twitter is a picture of him and Ramos. “Thoughts and prayers are with him. Scary situation.”
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