November 11, 2011
About 50 hours after gunmen in his native Venezuela kidnapped Ramos, the Washington Nationals 24-year-old catcher, he was rescued and on his way back to his family. Check out a stunning (if a little blurry) photo of Ramos wearing a bullet-proof vest as authorities bring him home. Wow.
Update: About 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Ramos walked into his house and was welcomed by friends and family.
"The truth is, at the moment they came to get me I was very nervous. There were many gunshots ... thanks to God, those guys did a tremendous job. I'm super grateful to them," Ramos told reporters after his return to his family.
"I'm still a bit nervous," he added, thronged by friends and relatives and wearing a black police bulletproof vest.
Nats Enquirer has a post with video of Ramos talking to the media. It's in Spanish, but anyone can tell it's him and that he's been through a lot.
Reporter Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with Ramos' agent, Gustavo Mercano, who said Venezuela's Interior Minister personally called the family with the news:
Ramos was freed in the mountains of Montalban in the state of Carabobo in central Venezuela, said the government's Communications Minister, Andres Izarra. The area is roughly 40 miles northwest of Valencia, where four gunmen abducted him Wednesday evening.
"It's a special moment for his family," Mercano said. "We're all happy. We're grateful."
In the background over the phone, Ramos' family could be heard chanting, "Wil-son! Wil-son!"
When Ramos himself was finally able to call home, his mother, Maria Campos, relayed what was said:
"Mama, I love you," she said he told her. "Mama — I'm good. They freed me. They rescued me."
"He's happy," Campos said. "Just like us."
Even though the Nationals are expected to be active in the free agent market this offseason, I can't imagine them getting better news. Even if Ramos wasn't one of the better young players in the majors — especially at his position — he's one of the family there. Here's a statement from Nats' GM Mike Rizzo.
For updates and more details, use Twitter to follow Rojas — @rafaelrojasc — who has been on this story from the start.
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