Pirates catcher Elias Diaz reported to Spring Training on Sunday morning, smiling as usual inside the Pirate City clubhouse, with some good news to share. His mother, Ana Isabel Soto, is "doing a lot better" after she was kidnapped and rescued in Venezuela, Diaz said. "She's doing well. That's what's important," he said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. "That's what matters. We're very glad." According to Diaz, the 72-year-old Soto was talking with a friend outside of her house when a group of men, including a few police officers and a family friend, took her. They were seeking money in exchange for her safe return, Diaz said, but she was rescued three days later -- without any ransom paid -- by judicial police, state police and other security officers. "In the beginning, I have no words to describe the reaction and the response of when I received the news. It was heartbreaking," Diaz said. "No one really prepares themselves for something like that. No one really takes the time to think that through, to try to even imagine what that could feel like. However, when it hit me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a very tough situation to deal with. "When I did find out the news that we found my mom, I can tell you the joy I felt was overwhelming. I've never felt that caliber of joy that I felt the moment I received the news that my mom was coming back home." Diaz was particularly distraught to learn that a family friend was involved in the kidnapping.
Pirates' Diaz felt 'overwhelming' joy after mother's rescue
MLB.com | Feb 18