Reporting Jessica Kartalija
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A dramatic rescue of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos.
Jessica Kartalija reports he was freed over the weekend after he was held hostage for two days.
Two seasons in the majors and a big league contract made Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos a target back home in Venezuela. The 24-year-old was kidnapped in his hometown last Wednesday.
“Where they were holding me captive was a very remote place, basically a jungle. I was praying to God to bring me home safely to my family,” Ramos said.
While fans in Washington and friends at home held vigils begging for his release, police tracked down the farm where Ramos was being held. After a dramatic gunfight, Ramos was rescued and six of the 10 kidnappers were arrested.
“I am very happy for the rescue operation they carried out,” Ramos said.
It’s not unusual for professional baseball players to return to their home country to play winter ball. Ramos says he will play this season in Venezuela.
Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said, “We are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.”
Ramos says his kidnappers told him they were going to demand a large ransom for his safe return.
Ramos will start playing winter ball in Venezuela on Wednesday, then will report to spring training to prepare for another season with the Nationals.
Since 2004, at least three Major League players from Venezuela have had relatives kidnapped.