CINCINNATI,OH - AUGUST 27: Wilson Ramos #3 of the Washington Nationals chases down a passed ball allowing a run to score during the game against the Cincinnati Reds on August 27, 2011 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Wilson Ramos Rescued In Venezuela After Being Kidnapped

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was found alive in a remote mountainous region of Venezuela, and has been returned to his family after being kidnapped.

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Wilson Ramos Retuns To Washington Nationals' Clubhouse, Thanks Everyone For Support

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos held a press conference at Nationals Park on Friday to discuss his kidnapping in Venezuela and, as general Mike Rizzo explained, to provide "an exclamation point, finality to the incident," according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Gunmen kidnapped Ramos outside his Venezuelan home on Nov. 9, and special forces rescued him two days later. Ramos was in his home country playing for Los Tigres de Aragua during the Major League Baseball offseason when the kidnapping occurred. The news made headlines worldwide, with a strong showing of support coming from other players in La Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional and from Nationals fans outside the ballpark.

Ramos will return to Venezuela to resume playing for Aragua on Tuesday, a decision of which Rizzo approves. "He plays for his country, in his country," the GM said. "He’s very prideful about his country, and he feels safe there. He plays for his country. He plays in front of his family. We can’t ask him not to do that." Upon Ramos' return, the Nationals and Major League Baseball "will put in place extra security measures" to ensure his safety.

In his first full professional season, Ramos batted .269 with 15 home runs and 52 runs batted in for the Nationals, making 435 plate appearances over the course of 113 games.


Mike Rizzo Not Afraid To Send Players To Venezuela After Wilson Ramos Kidnapping

Despite the horrific kidnapping situation involving Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, Mike Rizzo plans to continue scouring the fertile breeding grounds of Venezuela for talented baseball players. All but five organizations have shut down baseball academies in the volatile country, but Rizzo plans to continue investing human and financial resources to scouting Venezuela in the future despite the fact that Ramos is not the only player to have encountered danger in Venezuela in recent years.

Ramos' kidnapping was the first incident where a player was abducted, but Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco's brother was killed in 2008, and former major leaguer Ugueth Urbina's mother was held for nearly six months before authorities rescued her from kidnappers.

Two of Rizzo's hires as Nationals GM are proof positive of his commitment. Rizzo first hired Johnny DiPuglia from the Boston Red Sox following the 2009 season, and just recently hired former Dodgers scout Ron Rizzi to bring his expertise and familiarity with Venezuela and its talent to the Nationals organization. Rizzo had planned on Rizzi spending at least a month each winter in Venezuela, and those plans aren't about to change:

"There are instances that happened all the time down there. I've been involved in several; I don't want to go into them, but there were several times where I was put in positions where it was very uneasy, very dangerous to be in," Rizzo said. "But that's part of your job. You have to scout down there. You try and be as safe as you can, take as few risks as possible and try and get your job done."

Stay tuned here and at Federal Baseball for more news and discussion about the Wilson Ramos kidnapping story as it becomes available.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapping: Washington Nationals' Catcher Describes His Rescue

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has finally provided some details on how Venezuelan authorities were able to rescue him from kidnappers on Friday night. Ramos said the two sides engaged in a gunfight for 15 minutes before police contacted him to pull him free. Via's Jesse Sanchez:

"I remember the authorities showing up outside and there was a gunfight," Ramos said. "I think it lasted about 15 minutes. I was under the bed. I was so afraid. All of a sudden I hear the police calling my name. 'Wilson! Wilson!' And I answered, 'I'm here! I'm here!' They got me off the floor and got me back home. I am so grateful."

In an interview with John Forero for the Washington Post, Ramos described the whole thing as "something I had only seen in the movies." He told Sanchez that the kidnappers actually treated him pretty well and explained to him that it was all about the money. They told him they had no intention of harming him.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Comments On His Kidnapping, Rescue, Says He's Still 'Very Nervous'

Wilson Ramos has made his first public comments since being rescued from kidnappers in Venezuela on Friday night. The Washington Nationals' catches admitted he's still a bit nervous, but is nevertheless overjoyed to return home. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

"The truth is I’m still very nervous, but thanks to God everything turned out well," Ramos told Venezuelan state television, speaking by telephone after arriving at a police station in his hometown of Valencia early Saturday.

Nats Enquirer has video of the entire exchange in Spanish. Ramos did tell Rafael Rojas that "his is a pain nobody deserves to feel, so many things went through my mind, and I feared like never before." Details of Ramos' rescue remain fairly unclear, but what is known for sure is that he is alive and well.

For more photos of Ramos' rescue and his celebrating with his family members, click here.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapping: Washington Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo Comments On Ramos' Rescue

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, held captive by kidnappers in Venezuela for over two days, was rescued Friday night, roughly 40 miles north of his family's home in Valencia. Details of exactly how Ramos was freed are still unknown, but Venezuelan authorities have taken three men into custody. 

Obviously, Ramos and his family are extremely relieved to have this ordeal behind him, as are the legions of Nationals fans who held a vigil for the catcher outside of Nationals Park Friday night. Washington GM Mike Rizzo has weighed in on the situation as well. Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

"We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours," Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news."

The 24-year-old catcher just completed his first full season with Washington in 2011. He is the heir apparent behind the dish for the Nationals, stolen from the Minnesota Twins in a deadline deal for Matt Capps in 2010. He hit .267 with 15 home runs and a .438 slugging percentage last year.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapping Leads To Vigil At Nationals Park On Friday Night

Wilson Ramos is now safe and sound after being rescued in Venezuela, but before the news broke, many Nationals fans convened at Nationals Park for a vigil. Here's our live report from an attendee.


Wilson Ramos Found Alive By Venezuelan Authorities

According to reports, Wilson Ramos has been found alive and is safely in the custody of Venezuelan authorities – the best possible outcome in this nightmarish scenario. Late Friday night, Rockies and Venezuelan reporter Rafael Rojas tweeted that Ramos had been found safe in the remote mountains of Venezuela.

Via Rafael Rojas:

VZ Information Minister tweets Ramos has been found safely by authorities at mountains at Carabobo state

Rojas also tweeted that word spread around the Venezuelan league via PA system and the crowds roared upon hearing the good news.

Ramos was kidnapped in front of his home earlier this week. Late Thursday night, Venzuelan authorities confirmed that he was still alive but his whereabouts were still unknown. Then late Friday night, the Venezuelan Information Minister informed the public that he had been found safely.

The Internal Affairs Minister issued a statement that Venezuelan authorities were planning to bring him directly and safely to his home.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Venezuelan Authorities Find Second Car, According To Report

The search for Wilson Ramos continues after the Washington Nationals' catcher was kidnapped in his native Venezuela on Wednesday night. The latest development is that Venezuelan police have found a second vehicle used in the kidnapping, according to Venezuelan publication Ultimas Noticias. Via Amanda Comak of the Washington Times:

Ultimas Noticias, a Venezuelan publication, reports that 300 law enforcement officers are on the Ramos case, seemingly backing up the police's promise that they are making a significant push to find the Nationals catcher. UN also reports that a second SUV, also believed to have been used, has been found.

The first SUV was found earlier on Thursday, soon after the investigation was launched. The police have learned that Ramos was kidnapped by a larger group, which indicates this is an organized crime ring.

In addition, the Venezuelan police sent out a sharply-worded statement shooting down rumors that Ramos had died. Ramos is still alive and the search continues.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Investigators Hope To 'Finish This As Soon As Possible'

The men who kidnapped WIlson Ramos still have not made contact with the family or relayed a list of demands to investigators. As a result it's difficult to really asses how far along the investigation is, and what kind of hope we can maintain for a swift return. There is a potential bit of good news, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Investigators are reportedly very confident in their position, and hope to wrap the whole thing up soon.

There is some good news (or at least the hope is that it's good news) that investigators told the family a few hours ago that "the investigations are very advanced and not to worry because 'We're going to finish this as soon as possible.'"

Again, we're not sure what exactly this means, but it seems like the investigators are confident in their ability to bring a conclusion to this situation, and that has to be a good thing.

We'll have more information as soon as it becomes available, but check out Federal Baseball for more on the Nationals.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Fans Organizing Vigil At Nationals Park On Friday

As the news on Wilson Ramos' kidnapping continues to be scarce, Washington Nationals fans have decided to show their support with a fan-organized vigil. The event will take place at Nationals Park at 6 p.m., and thousands of fans are potentially expected to attend.

Nats NQ has some of the details of the event:

  • The vigil starts at 6pm outside the Park. Keep in mind that Navy Yard Metro WILL BE CLOSED due to maintenance. Plan your transportation accordingly. Carpooling, biking in, walking, etc. all recommended.
  • It will be held outside the Center Field Gate.
  • Bring candles, signs, etc.
  • Solidarity by wearing Ramos/Nats gear would be sweet, but not necessary.
  • Dress warmly

The event is a grassroots event, and the team has played no role in it. Details are still being ironed out, but there will be something happening at Nationals Park. For more on the event, follow the #vigilforramos hashtag on Twitter.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Sister Confident Ramos Alive, Will Return Soon

It's been more than 36 hours since Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela, and unfortunately, there isn't really anything that we can update you on. The family is still yet to hear from Ramos' captors, so it is unclear what they want to ensure his safe return. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the family issued a statement through a spokeswoman imploring people to keep praying for Wilson.

“Another long night waiting,” family friend and spokeswoman Marfa Mata wrote this morning on Twitter. “Not a message or call about Wilson. Keep praying.”

Nationals fans have also organized a small candlelight vigil that will take place at Nationals Park around 6 pm tonight. There is also a new fan-created website, which is dedicated to his release. His family is still keeping faith that he is alive, and his sister is confident in his return.

El Carabobeño quotes Wilson Ramos' sister: "Wilson is alive and he'll be back soon"
Nov 11 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply


Wilson Ramos Kidnapping: Nationals Catcher Was Signing Autograph When Kidnapped

The details of the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos continue to trickle out, as investigators and the Venezuelan press add more clarity to the story. It now appears that Ramos was outside his house to oblige an autograph-seeker. According to the Venzuelan newspaper El Universal, Ramos was out in front of his house when an orange Chevrolet Captiva approached with the gun-toting kidnappers.

Via Ben Goessling of MASN:

The report says two trucks passed by his father Abraham, his brother David and his cousin. When his family realized what the men in the trucks were intending to do, they ran back toward Ramos’ house. Shortly thereafter, the trucks circled back and two men got out of an orange 2007 Chevrolet Captiva (the truck that was recovered today) and grabbed Ramos, pressing a 9mm pistol against his head…

The vehicle used had no license plate and dark tinted windows, precluding any witnesses, which included a group of children, from identifying the kidnappers. The circumstances leading to the kidnapping are incredibly chilling. Thankfully, the latest word from Venzuelan authorities on Thursday afternoon was that Ramos was still alive.

For more on Ramos’ kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapping: Washington Nationals, MLB Issue Joint Statement

The Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball have issued a joint statement on the Wilson Ramos kidnapping, 16 hours or so after reports first surfaced that the event happened. Here is that statement:

"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."

The statement comes just after Venezuelan officials confirmed that Ramos is still alive, though that is not the same thing as saying they have found him. Authorities also say they have managed to create sketches of two of the four gunmen that allegedly kidnapped Ramos. The Nationals and Major League Baseball have remained silent on the matter until now.

For more on Ramos' kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Is Still Alive After Kidnapping In Venezuela, Local Officials Confirm

Wilson Ramos, the Washington Nationals' catcher who was kidnapped in his native Venezuela, is still alive, according to Venezuelan authorities. The news was just reported by Rafael Rojas of Viva Colorado on Twitter and is a relief to Nationals fans and sports fans everywhere.

It remains unclear where Ramos is currently located or whether the kidnappers have contacted anyone yet. He has not been found at this time, and according to the latest reports, there have still been no ransom demands. Ramos was kidnapped by four gunmen late on Wednesday night, according to several reports. Police have found the SUV used to capture Ramos.

Ramos is a promising young catcher for the Nationals that belted 15 home runs and drove in 52 RBI last season. He was down in his home country playing Winter Ball, which is something many other major league players do during the offseason.

For more on Ramos' kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Details About MLB Task Force Currently Investigating Ramos

Wilson Ramos was kidnapped yesterday in Venezuela, and Major League Baseball already has people on the ground aiding the government in trying to secure his safe return, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo. Here are some more details he tweeted about that task force. First about the DOI itself.

On Wilson Ramos abduction, MLB working with Vz officials thru its Dept. of Investigations. Creation of DOI part of Mitchell Report.

Then about the details of the task force.

MLB's Dept. of Investigations is headed by former NY cop Dan Mullin. The DOI has people on the ground in Vz. Mullin is the cousin of Chris.

It is good to know that they already have people on the ground there trying to make sure that this situation resolves as smoothly as possible. But any updates about the specifics of his kidnapping and any actual progress they have made would obviously be more welcome.

For more information, head over to Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Venezuelan Professional Baseball League Issues Statement

There are still very few developments and updates in the Wilson Ramos kidnapping investigation, but the Venezuelan Profesional Baseball League has issued a statement, via Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. This was translated from the original version which was in Spanish.

"La Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional condemns and deplores the kidnapping of (Wilson Ramos), a fact that has shocked the country, especially those who follow Venezuelan baseball.

"We also hope that this event has a favorable outcome for Wilson Ramos and his family and to do our supplications to the Almighty and call upon the authorities, so strong, to make all necessary inquiries, leading to a solution as quickly as possible."

Ramos' family is still awaiting contact from the captors, who have yet to reach out to anyone and issue a list of demands or a ransom or anything. We'll have more on this story as we learn more, but for more on the Nationals, check out Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Alleged Car Used For Kidnapping Is Found By Authorities

There remains no word from those who kidnapped Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos in Venezuela on Wednesday night, but Venezuelan authorities have made some progress on finding out more about the incident. According to Venezuelan TV station Globovision, authorities have found the vehicle allegedly used to kidnap Ramos. Here is a rough Google translation of the story.

The Minister of Interior and Justice, Tarek El Aissami, said the vehicle was found in the presumed Venezuelan baseball player was transferred Wilson Ramos at the time of his kidnapping on Wednesday in Valencia. The car was located in the municipality Bejuma Carabobo state. He added that until now have had no contact with the perpetrators.

The car was found in the Venezuelan city of Bejuma, which is located about one hour from Ramos' home.

There has yet to be any further news on the incident. The kidnappers have not contacted Ramos' family, and no ransom information has been spelled out.

For more on Ramos' kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: No Contact From Captors, Venezuela Winter League Continues To Play

Wilson Ramos was kidnapped from his home in Venezuela on Wednesday, and as of Thursday, his family and the team he plays for in the Winter had yet to hear from his captors, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington.

"We are still waiting for any news about Wilson Ramos," Kathe Vilera, spokeswoman for Ramos' Venezuelan team (Tigres de Aragua) tweeted this morning. "All the authorities are working in the case."

The sooner tha captors get in contact with the family, the sooner this whole situation can begin to be resolved. As of now, it's just some frustrating dead ends. As for the team Ramos plays for and the league as a whole, they will not be suspending play and plan to play all scheduled games.

"Suspending any ballgames will not help Wilson Ramos at all," league president Jose Grasso said. "Turning the lights off is not a solution."

We'll have more on this situation as it develops, but for more on this situation and everything Nationals baseball, check out Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Washington Nationals' Teammates React To Reports

The news that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped in Venezuela has reached several of Ramos' Washington Nationals' teammates. Many of those people have sent out their support on Twitter throughout the night. Here are some of their responses.

Tyler Clippard: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ramo and his family! This is awful, I don't know what to think!"

Drew Storen: "Extremely upsetting news about Ramo. Thoughts and prayers with him. Scary situation."

Colin Balester: "Terrible news about Ramos My thoughts and Prayers go out to him and his family in this Scary situation.."

John Lannan: Thoughts and prayers go out to Wilson Ramos and his family.

Greivis Vasquez (Venezuelan native, translated in Google: It is about the kidnapping chimbo Wilson Ramos! These pods are not done! The guy is a serious athlete and fighter! Venezuela can not do that! ...

The Nationals are expected to release a statement later on Wednesday night, according to Mark Zuckerman.

For more on Ramos' kidnapping, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Family Members Have Not Heard From Kidnappers, According To Report

The family of kidnapped Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has yet to hear from the kidnappers, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. Wednesday evening, word surfaced via Twitter that Ramos had been kidnapped in his home in Valencia, Venezuela, where he's spending the MLB offseason playing for the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. From Comak's dispatch:

Sources close to Ramos‘ family confirmed to The Washington Times that the family had not yet heard from the kidnappers by 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

Ramos is a rising star in the Nationals organization. As a rookie in 2011, the 24-year-old hit .267 in 435 plate appearances, belted 15 homers, and knocked in 52 runs. Behind the plate, he threw out 32.4 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Washington acquired Ramos and minor-leaguer Joe Testa from the Minnesota Twins for Matt Capps and cash considerations in 2010.

For more coverage of the Nationals, please visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped: Four Gunmen Took Washington Nationals' Catcher Away, According To Report

The news of Wilson Ramos being kidnapped in Venezuela continues to trickle out, and there are reports from foreign publications that there were multiple men involved in the act. According to El Nacional, four armed men approached Ramos and took him away. They have yet to make any ransom demands, according to the report.

As translated by Baseball Nation:

According to respondent, 4 gunmen approached the grandeliga Washington Nationals near his home in the Santa Ines, capital of Carabobo, and took him away.

"They are still waiting for the kidnappers contact the family," continued the insider. "At the moment the only thing they have done is to inform the police."

Ramos was one of the Nationals' most promising youngsters last year, hitting .267 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI. He was playing winter ball in Venezuela at the time of the reported kidnapping.

For more on Ramos and the Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.


Wilson Ramos Kidnapped In Venezuela, According To Reports

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped in his home country of Venezuela, according to reports.

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