Wilson Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped in his home country of Venezuela.
Reports said Ramos, 24, was kidnapped from his home on Wednesday evening.
Ramos’ winter league team, the Aragua Tigers, confirmed the kidnapping via Twitter. Kathe Vilera, the team’s spokeswoman, tweeted that four armed men in a pickup truck took Ramos from his home.
“This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped,” Vilera wrote.
El Siglo, a Venezuelan news outlet, reported that Ramos was taken while he was in the company of his family. Another Venezuelan outlet, El Nacional, said Ramos’ family is waiting to hear from the kidnappers.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the team is waiting for more information before commenting. In 2011, Ramos hit .267 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs in 113 games.
Major League Baseball players from Venezuela have had family members kidnapped in the past, including former Tiger Ugueth Urbina, whose mother was kidnapped in 2004. She was held for ransom but was rescued by police after five months.

Wilson Ramos kidnapped in Venezuela
Wilson Ramos.

Professional baseball player Wilson Ramos, a catcher seen as one of the young building blocks for the Washington Nationals, was abducted by gunmen Wednesday from his home in his native Venezuela.
Ramos, a 24-year-old who just finished his rookie season, was taken away in an SUV by four armed men in Santa Ines in central Carabobo state, the spokeswoman for his Venezuelan League team, the Aragua Tigers, said on her official Twitter account.
“This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped,” Katherine Vilera wrote.
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.
A person close to Ramos’ family, who asked not to be quoted by name out of safety concerns, said 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.
Drew Storen, a relief pitcher for the Nationals, tweeted his concerns: “Extremely upsetting news about Ramo. Thoughts and prayers with him. Scary situation.”
Spokesmen for the Nationals did not respond immediately to phone and email messages Wednesday night.
Ramos is considered one of the Nationals’ key young players as they try to become a contender in the National League East. 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.
Washington acquired Ramos from the Minnesota Twins in a trade for All-Star relief pitcher Matt Capps in July 2010.

Wilson Ramos, one of the Washington Nationals’ most promising young baseball players, was kidnapped at gunpoint Wednesday night from his family’s home in Venezuela, leaving the team in a state of shock and raising questions about the safety of playing in a country ravaged in recent years by kidnappings and street crime.
The 24-year-old Ramos, the starting catcher for the Nationals, had returned to his native country for the winter and planned to participate in roughly 10 games for his Venezuelan winter league team, the Aragua Tigers, starting Thursday.
He is one of the Nationals’ best players, a rookie this past season who supplanted likely future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, his childhood idol, as the Nationals’ regular catcher.
Wednesday evening, four armed men arrived at Ramos’s mother’s house in the Santa Ines sector of the central city of Valencia, and took Ramos away, according to multiple news reports out of Venezuela.
“It’s true, Wilson Ramos was kidnapped 40 minutes ago,” Katherine Vilera, spokeswoman for the Tigers, said in a statement Wednesday evening. She said that Venezuela’s judicial police, the CICPC, were investigating.
“The CICPC are up on this and were going to his house in Santa Ines,” she said. “They took him from his house.”
She added that the only details the Tigers knew were that the four men sped off with Ramos in a four-by-four vehicle.
The Caracas newspaper, El Universal, reported in its online edition that the kidnappers had driven past the Ramos home twice before finally stopping and forcing Ramos into the vehicle. The catcher and his family had been just outside the house, enjoying the early evening, when the gunmen arrived.
Ramos’s family had not established communication with the kidnappers as of late Wednesday, according to the reports.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen now,” said Enrique Brito, a longtime official in the Venezuelan winter league who is close with Ramos’s family. “It’s going to be bad for the culture, for the league, for everything. Wilson is one of the best players that we had. It’s bad. It’s real bad, for all Venezuelan people and fans. We are all shocked.”

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