This is the not the first time that a Major League Baseball player has been targeted for kidnapping, although usually it is family members of stars who are the victims. The brother of Arizona catcher Henry Blanco was killed in 2008, and the infant son of Yorvit Torreabla (another Venezuelan catcher) was ransomed and returned unhurt in 2009. Venezuela reportedly has the highest kidnapping rate in the world, and athletes are obviously among the country's wealthiest and most high-profile citizens, even (or especially) if they stay in the United States while leaving family behind.
Ramos played 113 games for the Nationals this year and had just returned south to play winter ball in his home town. Details of the kidnapping are still sketchy at this point, but obviously the hope is that the kidnappers simply want money and will return him unharmed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.