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Venezuelan gunmen kidnap MLB player

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Wilson Ramos

Venezuelan gunmen kidnap MLB player

Washington Nationals catcher taken from his home

  • Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was reportedly kidnapped from his home in Venezuela on Wednesday.
    Keith Allison/FlickrWashington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was reportedly kidnapped from his home in Venezuela on Wednesday.

Gunmen kidnapped Washington Nationals player Wilson Ramos on Wednesday from his home in native Venezuela, the Associated Press reported

"This is sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped," Kathe Vilera, spokeswoman for the catcher’s Venezuelan League team said through her Twitter account. Ramos was playing winter ball with the Aragua Tigers.

Ramos was reportedly abducted 6:45 p.m. local time by four armed men in Santa Innes, 95-miles west of the country’s capital, Caracas. The catcher’s father and brothers were at home with the catcher, according to a family-friend who spoke in the condition of anonymity due to safety reasons.

The kidnapping seems to be the first of a Major League Baseball player in Venezuela, the AP reported:

“In Venezuela, which is home to dozens of Major League Baseball players, the families of wealthy athletes are periodically targeted by kidnappers in hopes of a hefty ransom. This appears to be the first case of a Major League player himself being kidnapped. In November 2009, the then 56-year-old mother of former big league pitcher Victor Zambrano was rescued in a ‘commando-style operation’ after a three-day kidnapping ordeal."

Venezuela is known for its high crime rates. Caracas and the rest of the country have one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world, according to the U.S. State Department. Kidnappings from homes, hotels, unauthorized taxis and even the airport terminal against travelers have become frequently reported.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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