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More details emerge about the kidnapping of Wilson Ramos

Nov 10, 2011, 8:35 PM EDT

wilson ramos reuters Reuters

Nats catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela over 24 hours ago. His captors have yet to contact the Ramos family seeking a ransom and authorities are short on promising leads.

But El Universal, a Venezuelan newspaper based in Caracas, has uncovered a few more details about what exactly took place on Wednesday evening in the town of Valencia:

  • Ramos signed an autograph for a young fan who had been playing stickball just before the kidnappers pulled up.
  • An orange 2007 Chevrolet Captiva was the primary vehicle used in the kidnapping, but another truck was also involved. The Chevy had no plates and the windows were heavily tinted.
  • Two men, with their faces uncovered, got out of the Chevy and approached Ramos. One wrapped his arm around the 24-year-old’s neck and pressed a 9mm pistol against his head.
  • Ramos was with his father Abraham, his brother David, and a cousin. He was the only one taken.
As Craig noted earlier, the odds of Ramos being released unharmed are high, especially once a ransom request is made. But a full day has passed with no signs of progress. And that’s pretty damn frightening.
  1. Francisco (FC) - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    We should settle down. This still looks like a straightforward Kidnapping… yes the situation is frightening and fraught with danger. But Kidnappers are not in the business of killing their hostage when there’s good money involved. It may be that he’s being moved around until they are comfortable the police have not tracked them and they are setting up a video to present a proof of life. I am optimistic that Wilson Ramos will come through relatively unharmed (I say relatively because obviously no matter that this is a terrible ordeal!)

    • tashkalucy - Nov 11, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      Thanks for “settling” me down.

      I was going up a wall.

      Hey, have you ever gotten out of your suburb and driven down to your central city to see what happens in America every day of the week?

      Of course not. Only sports matter.

      • Alex K - Nov 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM

        I’m pretty sure that his post had nothing to do with sports.

        Hey, have you ever added anything to a conversation on HBT?

        Of course not. Please go away.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:18 AM

        You’ve made a series of assumptions about me that are all pretty much incorrect. The Venezuela situation interests me since I was born there and lived there till recently. I’ve been personally mugged twice in Caracas. My wife mugged twice there. My Grandfather assaulted given a horrible bruise to his eye. My aunt and uncle had two shotguns shown to their faces to steal my aunt’s car (while they were driving to a drugstore to get medication for my Grandfather’s eye). I’ve walked downtown Caracas which is dangerous any time of the day if you’re not careful and aware of your surroundings. One friend was kidnapped express style with his girlfriend forced to go ATM to ATM and withdraw money and then left to fend for themselves locked in the trunk of his car until he was finally able to get out. Another friend has had her home robbed twice with the crooks moving them and tying her and her family up in the dead of the night to steal all of their belongings. One other friend barely escaped getting carjacked but her car still got a bullet to show for it.

        The one common thread to all this is that all these people survived their experiences and continue to live with their families and loved ones. Yes something really bad could happen. It’s not pretty, it’s a terrible ordeal, but more often than not the victim has come through alive. Let’s hope that Wilson Ramos will be ransomed soon and returned to his family. There are good odds this will happen and that’s the important thing we should hold on to. My point is there is no need to think this will end tragically. There’s not enough information to assume things are dire, kidnappings can take weeks to resolve…

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    This situation is really bothering me. It is incredibly fucked up and suspicious. Here is this guy walking down the street with his family, signing autographs for little kids and he gets kidnapped. Just terrible. I have a question for anybody who might know: say the kidnappers ask for a ransom that is too much for the Ramos family to pay, could the Nationals step up and pay the ransom or is that against the rules?

    • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      That’s a legit question, because Ramos has yet to make “big money” as a big league ballplayer and it’s entirely possible the kidnappers will ask for way more than Ramos can offer.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:58 PM

        Yeah, that is what I was thinking. He made something like 400,000 last year so after taxes and living expenses, it seems to me that he wouldn’t have that much left to pay a large ransom. I don’t know if he got paid a signing bonus when he first signed with the Twins though.

    • ThisIsBaseball - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:01 PM

      I’ve been wondering this since it happened. Especially because Ramos made the minimum last season. Kidnappers want $1mm, then what? I think either way it sends a dangerous message. Either the MLB/MLBPA/Teams don’t care about the players and their safety, or any MLB player becomes open game to kidnappers in Venezuela and possibly other countries that are just as unstable (e.g., Mexico). Either way, it’s a real crappy situation. I hope Ramos comes out okay…

    • chobes68 - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      I don’t know how that could be in the rules, but you never know. Irregardless, I wouldn’t be surprised if a team stepped up, but I’m sure they would do everything to distance themselves from the help, so they don’t set a precedent for each and every player from countries where things like this are commonplace.

  3. bryan8188 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    There is no way the Nationals would step up and pay the ransom. That is not a slight on them at all but by doing that, they would set a VERY dangerous precedent for all players in all sports.

    • dlevalley - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:55 PM

      My (completely uneducated) guess is that if the the ransom was large enough that Ramos couldn’t pay it, and the Nationals wanted to help, that they would funnel money through Ted Lerner. The guy’s worth $3.5 billion, according to wiki.

      I mean, if a guy with $3.5 Billion wants to make something happen in a situation like this, no one will ever know *where* the money came from.

      • dlevalley - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        Also, on a completely unrelated (and lighter) note, Lerner apparently started his company with a $212 dollar loan from his wife. Wow.

        Makes me think I should go ask my lady for a loan tonight, but then I realize I wouldn’t have the first clue as to what to do with it. Turns out I was born without money OR smarts.

  4. shawnuel - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    I wonder if we will start seeing King Felix, and other Venezuelan stars who have been very well payed, start to migrate north year round? Carlos Silva….he can stay.

    • ThatGuy - Nov 10, 2011 at 11:50 PM

      Silva actually lives in North America year round, he married a Minnesota girl when he played with the Twins. Believe he still resides here in the offseason.

  5. rexryanisablowhard - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    The Captiva is a relatively new model (5 yrs), so gotta imagine an orange one would be pretty easy to find, no??

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM

      It was already found, abandoned, this morning.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/10/vehicle-used-in-ramos-kidnapping-found/

  6. allday296 - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Terrible that these things happen, no one should ever feel threatened in their own country(or any country) or for that matter should have have to lock their door in their own home. People who commit these types of crimes should be locked up for life, or something worse.Prayers go out to the Ramos family

  7. bigxrob - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Heyman tweeted that anibal Sanchez canceled his December flight to Venezuela

  8. airedale1950 - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Play Ball in the USA…live in the USA year round. Don’t like it…go play in Japan or Korea. Spend US dollars in the US. Make it an MLB mandate in every contract. The exception being the Blue Jays…Canada or USA only. Off season in season…leave the grime and the crime in Latin America and “rough” it here in the US of A.

  9. foreverchipper10 - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I am just as worried as anyone about this but really, they used a Captiva? Was the other vehicle used an Escape?

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