The ink on New York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos’ left forearm is a reminder of his Christian faith — and one of the worst moments of his life.
During the 2011 MLB offseason, Ramos, then with the Washington Nationals, was kidnapped in his hometown of Valencia, Venezuela. Four men dragged him into a car at gunpoint and took him to a cabin in the country’s remote mountains, The Washington Post reported.
The kidnappers hoped to hold the millionaire baseball player for ransom, but a team of elite police officers and commandos thwarted their plan.
Ramos was held hostage for two days before law enforcement officers raided the area and exchanged heavy gunfire with the kidnappers. They freed Ramos and took eight men into custody.
The catcher, who had feared for his life, was reunited with his family the next day.
As a result of the incident, Ramos got a tattoo on his left forearm that serves as a constant reminder of the terrifying ordeal and his faith in God.
The tattoo features three parts. One of them reads “11-11-11,” the day he was rescued.
Another reads Philippians 4:13; the Bible verse says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
The largest part of the tattoo features the verse in Spanish: “Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece.”
During this past MLB offseason, Ramos posted a photo of the tattoo on Instagram. His caption also exemplified his faith in Christ.
He wrote, “a day like there are 7 years ago God gave me the opportunity to be born again thanks to my God for always protecting me.”
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un día como hay hace 7 años Dios me dio la oportunidad de volver a nacer gracias mi Dios por siempre protegerme……… a day like there are 7 years ago God gave me the opportunity to be born again thanks to my God for always protecting me #11-11-11 #4:13 #dios #diosesfiel #noalsecuestro #nuevavida
Ramos reaffirmed his gratitude toward God in an interview with MLB.com published last week.
“I feel like I was born again on that day,” he said in Spanish. “I try to enjoy it to the max because it was a special day — a wonderful day when I got to see my family, my mother, my father and my siblings again. …
“I know of many [kidnapping] cases in my country in which those people never make it back home, never see their families again. That’s why I say I was born again, because God allowed me to come out of all that unharmed and it was another chance at life.”
Ramos got the tattoo shortly after the incident. The first time he was spotted with it publicly came during spring training in 2012.
The incident did not impact Ramos’ career in any negative manner. He has played in the MLB All-Star game twice: once in 2016 and again in 2018.
This season, Ramos is the starting catcher for the Mets and is hitting .270 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 48 games.
In addition to the tattoo on his left forearm, he has large ones on his right featuring the names of his two children: Antonella, 4, and Wilson Jr., 1.
“Day to day all I think about is their well-being and working hard to give them a good future,” Ramos told MLB.com. “Those are the kinds of things that have helped me not to dwell on that awful moment anymore.”
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