WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Nationals Catcher Kidnapped In Venezuela

Wilson Ramos said to be alive

Play associated audio

Update 2 p.m.: A short time ago, according to baseball writer Rafael Rojas in Venezuela, police there posted a statement saying that they believe Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is alive — perhaps a sign that the kidnappers have made contact.

According to the BBC, there were an estimated 1,179 kidnappings in Venezuela last year. Many others, though, may not have been reported because families quickly gave in to the kidnappers' demands. So, it's possible that Ramos isn't the first player to have been grabbed. Members of the anti-extortion and kidnapping unit of Venezuela's National Guard and members of the country's National Intelligence agency are part of the investigation.

What's certain, however, is that MLB players' families have been targeted. As The Associated Press, reports, "in Venezuela, which is home to dozens of Major League Baseball players, the families of wealthy athletes are periodically targeted by kidnappers in hopes of a hefty ransom."

In 2005, the mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina was rescued at a mountain camp after five months in captivity. In 2009, relatives of retired pitcher Victor Zambrano and catcher Yorvit Torrealba (then of the Colorado Rockies; now with the Texas Rangers) were snatched. All were later released or rescued.

The Washington Nationals also issued a joint statement with Major League Baseball on the kidnapping this afternoon:

Our foremost concern is with Wilson Ramos and his family and our thoughts are with them at this time. Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations is working with the appropriate authorities on this matter. Both Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals have been instructed to make no further comment.

Original Story: Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been abducted in Venezuela, according to media reports. The 24-year-old rising star for the Washington team was playing winter ball for the Aragua Tigers when he was abducted from his mother's home near Valencia, Venezuela. 

Ramos was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint from his mother's home by four men, who drove him away in an SUV, according to the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional. Ramos' family has not received any ransom demands, according to reports. 

In a report issued this year, the U.S. State Department describes kidnapping as a "growing industry" in Venezuela.


'If They Have It, It's Undeniable': Lorne Michaels On Casting 'SNL'

The Saturday Night Live executive producer says criticism of the show's perceived lack of diversity frustrated him, but that the perception needed to be addressed.

Chef Paul Prudhomme Will Live On Through His Restaurants, Spices And Books

Chef Paul Prudhomme has died at the age of 75. He revolutionized Cajun and Creole cuisine and popularized it throughout the world, creating a craze for "blackened" everything.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 9, 2015

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.


Beyond The 'Like' Button: Facebook Comes To Our Emotional Rescue

Facebook reveals new emojis it's testing to expand the iconic "Like" button. All Tech Considered welcomes a new host, who tries to explain her vision for the blog using Facebook's seven "Reactions."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.