Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped at his home in Valencia, Venezuela, his winter ball team, the Tigres de Aragua, has confirmed. The news was first reported by Rafael Rojas of the Meridiano newspaper in Venezuela (Spanish language report).
The Nationals have not yet issued a statement on the news, but we’ll be following it throughout the evening. Check back throughout the night for more details.
Update: Here’s what we know about Ramos’ kidnapping, according to reports out of Venezuela: The Nationals catcher was with his family at his home around 7:30 p.m. local time when four armed people broke into the house, took Ramos, put him in a green car and drove away.
The Nationals have declined comment on the reports, and Kathe Vilera, a team spokesperson for the Tigres de Aragua, has said the club will not have further comment until there is more information. Rojas tweeted moments ago that Venezuelan League president Jose Grasso told a Venezuelan newspaper that “all police corps are working to solve (the) Ramos case.”
Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world, and kidnapping has been a major problem in the country for years. The mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina was kidnapped in 2004 by men who demanded $6 million in ransom. Urbina’s mother was rescued more than five months after she had been abducted.
Update: Several Nationals players have reacted to the news on Twitter:
* 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.”
* Collin Balester: “Terrible news about Ramos My thoughts and Prayers go out to him and his family in this Scary situation.”
Update: Venezuelan Winter League president Jose Grasso Becchio issued a statement saying the league “is condemning the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos. We have spoken to the authorities and hope Ramos is found safe and sound.”