Cal Ripken Jr.’s mother “home safe” after being abducted at gunpoint

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UPDATE: Few details about how Violet Ripken went missing were available initially, but now WUSA9-TV in Maryland reports that she was “abducted at gunpoint from her home Tuesday morning.”

Here’s an official statement from the Ripken family:

As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is on ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.

UPDATE #2: Police have revealed further details about the abduction, via the Associated Press:

Vi Ripken was kidnapped between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who forced her into her car, according to Aberdeen police. She was found about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday unharmed in her car near her home in Aberdeen, some 25 miles from Baltimore. … Vi Ripken described her abductor as a tall, thin white man with glasses, but police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick had no other details.

According to an FBI spokesperson it’s unclear if the abductor knew Ripken’s identity.

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Violet Ripken, the 74-year-old mother of Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken, has been found after being reported missing to Baltimore police.

According to the Baltimore Sun the Ripken family contacted police last night and asked for the public’s help in the search, but she was found this morning and “is home safe.”

You can check the newspaper’s website for further details.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.