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November 10, 2011

Kidnapped Baseball Player Ramos Rescued in Venezuela

Officials in Venezuela say police have rescued Venezuelan national and U.S. Major League Baseball player Wilson Ramos.

Venezuela's Information Minister Andres Izarra said late Friday that Ramos, a 24-year-old catcher for the Washington Nationals, was found alive by security forces in the mountainous region of Montalban. No details of the rescue operation have been released to the public.

Ramos had been visiting with family at a private home Wednesday night in Valencia when several men entered the residence and snatched him. Ramos was in Venezuela to play with his winter league team, the Aragua Tigers.  

Relatives of major league players, but not players themselves up until now, have been kidnapped in recent years in Venezuela.

The mother of former player Ugueth Urbina spent more than five months in captivity until she was rescued in 2005.

In 2009, the son and brother-in-law of Major League Baseball catcher Yorvit Torrealba were kidnapped, but released a short time later.  Also that year, the mother of now-retired pitcher Victor Zambrano was rescued, three days after she was abducted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.