Major League Baseball star Wilson Ramos, who catches for the Washington Nationals, was kidnapped by gunmen Wednesday from his home in his native Venezuela.
The 24 year old, who was home playing winter ball with the Aragua tigers, was he was taken away in an SUV by four armed men in Santa Ines in central Carabobo state, Kathe Vilera, spokeswoman for the catcher’s Venezuelan League team, posted the following on her Twitter account “This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped,”
She said the rising Major League Baseball star was kidnapped at 6:45 p.m. local time and that police have been notified. Santa Ines lies about 95 miles west of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
A person close to Ramos’ family, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, said the rising star 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 kidnapper and Ramos’ family, the person said.
Washington acquired Ramos from the Minnesota Twins in a trade in July 2010 and he was considered one of the Nationals’ young building blocks as they try to become a contender in the National League East.
This is not the first time gangs have targetted wealth sportspeople In Venezuela, in November 2009, the then 56-year-old mother of former big league pitcher Victor Zambrano was rescued in a “commando-style operation” after a three-day kidnapping ordeal.
Zambrano’s mother was abducted nine days after his cousin, Richard Mendez Zambrano, was kidnapped and later killed. Zambrano played for seven years in the big leagues until 2007.
In June 2009, Colorado Rockies’ catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s then 11-year-old son and brother-in-law were kidnapped and released a day later.
In early 2005, the mother of former pitcher Ugueth Urbina spent more than five months in captivity until she was rescued in early 2005.