It's been more than 2 days since the incredible rescue of Washington Nationals C Wilson Ramos from his captors in his native Venezuela. I'm sure in the coming days, more details and quotes will emerge from the ordeal, but in the mean time, here's what we know.
The Washington Post's Juan Forero, with help from Nats Journal beat writer Adam Kilgore, penned a wonderful article recapping the drama. During his 51 hour abduction, Ramos said he wasn't harmed physically, but acknowledged that the emotional toll was great. The article above quotes Ramos as saying, “for a few moments, I thought I would never see my family and that was something painful, super painful.” Ramos was freed from his kidnappers by heavily armed Venezuelan law enforcement officials under "heavy gunfire." Ramos crawled under the bed he was staying on during the gunfire until Venezuelan agents started calling for him. After about 5 hours, which must have been some of the longest hours of the young catcher's life, Ramos was reunited with his family at home, at the scene of his abduction.
This is the kind of story you see on cop shows on TV. It's certainly not the kind of thing you expect to happen to someone we all know, even if not personally. When you cheer for a team as strongly as many sports fans do, it's easy to feel a bond for a player you've never met. It's hard to imagine a loved one being in such a scary situation, but many in NatsTown truly felt emotional pain in this situation; I was one of them.
As we try to get back into the normalcy of baseball blogging, there will be time to ask the inevitable questions, like will Ramos will be emotionally ready for next season? Some of those questions may be answered when Ramos makes his Venezuelan Winter League debut on November 16th, which I'm extremely excited for. But for now, all of us at The Nats Blog are thrilled that Wilson Ramos is safely with his family and is working to return to some sort of normal life as he recovers from what is, to must of us, an unimaginable experience. While we love baseball, nothing is more important than the safety of our fellow man. We're glad you're home, Wilson. Vamos Ramos!