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November 10, 2011 [LINK / comment]
Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos is kidnapped in Venezuela
There was a news report last night that Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint while at his home in Valencia, Venezuela. Today it was learned that police found the kidnappers' automobile abandonded in a nearby town a few hours later. There is no word of any ransom demands, but of course, such demands hardly ever becomes public. See masnsports.com and MLB.com. Ramos was playing for the Tigres de Aragua in Venezuela's Winter League. (See the Latin American leagues page.)
Ramos was one of the most-improved players in the Nationals roster this year, and to the surprise of many people, became the first-string catcher by the end of May, largely replacing Pudge Rodriguez. Those are big shoes to fill. His biggest feat of the 2011 season was hitting a three-run game-winning home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against the visiting Seattle Mariners on June 21; see my June 23 post.
Anyone who has travelled in Latin America knows that kidnapping is a serious problem in some areas, and tourists need to take extra precautions. There was a movie starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan vividly dramatizing the issue, Proof of Life (2000). Definitely not for the faint of heart. (See imdb.com.) It's really a shame that the growing lawlessness in Venezuela had to strike an innocent victim like Wilson. He is not only a fine athlete with great promise, he is devoted to community service and (as reported on ABC News this evening) has a reputation for taking extra time to sign autographs for fans. Prayers go out for a quick return of Wilson to safety.
Birth of the curve ball
Here is an item of historical curosity brought to my attention by a historian colleague of mine, Matthew Poteat. According to research cited by the North Carolina Civil War 150 blog, the curve ball was invented in North Carolina during Civil War. I wonder when and where the knuckle ball, slider, and even the spit ball were invented?
Corrected page link
In my November 5 blog post, I originally had a bad link to the Washington Nationals page, so I have corrected it. Sorry about that.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 11 Nov 2011, 12: 46 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
March 9, 2011 ~ Life bird: (un-) Common Redpoll
March 31, 2011 ~ Batter UP!!! Opening Day 2011 is here!
April 3, 2011 ~
Legislators seek redistricting input (?)
April 18, 2011 ~
Tea Party Tax Day rally
May 1, 2011 ~ Confirmed: Osama bin Laden is dead!
May 25, 2011 ~ Governor visits Staunton
May 30, 2011 ~ Nationals WIN, then resume plunge
June 2, 2011 ~ Republicans declare candidacies
June 14, 2011 ~ Anti-tax dogma vs. fiscal sanity
June 23, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep Mariners; Riggleman quits
June 26, 2011 ~ Two extraordinary extra-inning games
July 8, 2011 ~ Nationals sweep the Cubs (almost)
July 26, 2011 ~ Debt ceiling showdown: farce majeur
August 1, 2011 ~ Leaders compromise on debt ceiling
August 20, 2011 ~ Baseball road trip 2011: Missouri
August 31, 2011 ~ Is Obama getting desperate?
September 11, 2011 ~ 9/11: Ten years later
October 1, 2011 ~ THREE "shots heard around the world"
October 3, 2011 ~ Hundreds of hawks, dozens of warblers, and three bears!!
October 10, 2011 ~ Kansas performs in concert at JMU
October 10, 2011 ~ R.I.P. Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)
October 29, 2011 ~ The Cardinals are world champions again
November 5, 2011 ~ Washington Nationals: year in review
November 9, 2011 ~ Republicans gain, State Senate is tied (?)
November 28, 2011 ~ Newt gets real (?) on immigration
December 3, 2011 ~ Moneyball, the A's, and Billy Beane
December 14, 2011 ~ Libertarians don't get no respect *
December 31, 2011 ~ Those wintertime no-baseball blues
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)