Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba felt the fear cut through him. His 11-year-old son was in the hands of kidnappers and he thought the boy was going to die.
Torrealba sat by the phone in Venezuela, listening to his wife negotiate with the kidnappers. It was thought best that Torrealba not do the talking.
"It's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," he said. "For three days I couldn't sleep, I couldn't drink water. I felt like my hands were tied and I couldn't do anything."
Torrealba spoke of his ordeal Sunday, the first time he has done so since Yorvit Eduardo was released by his abductors. Now, nearly two weeks later, his son is fine and with him in Denver
"Overall, he's happy, he's good," Torrealba said before the Rockies played Seattle. "When we were in Miami I took him to the park, to the mall just to have a normal life again. He's doing really good."
His son saw a doctor twice while in Miami.
"The first time he saw the doctor, all he talked about was what happened," Torrealba said. "The second time, he was talking about stuff we were doing. He's doing better. He's making progress."
Torrealba's son will be at Coors Field on Tuesday when the Rockies open a three-game series against Tampa Bay. He said he and his wife will stay in the U.S.
"They'll stay here in the States for a while," he said. "We're looking for a school for my son down in Miami."
Torrealba said the kidnapping began June 2 when a car pulled in front of the car taking his son to school. His son was with Daniel Antonio Alvarez Morales, Torrealba's 31-year-old brother-in-law, and Agrey Alexander Marquez, a 27-year-old brother-in-law of the boy's mother.
"Three guys with guns put them in the back seat and just drove away to a big hill," Torrealba said. "They covered their faces and a half-hour later one of the guys called my wife and told his mother they were kidnapping her son," Torrealba said.
"It took about two days. They spent the night on the hill, and all day the next day. Then around eight o'clock they let them go. ... For whatever reason they let him go before they got the money. They ran to the closest house and asked if they could use the phone. He called my wife and let her know she was fine. This house was a half hour away from my house, so right away we found someone over there to get him."
The kidnappers demanded $500,000 at first, according to Torrealba, then dropped their demands to $150,000 and then $50,000.
"Those guys wanted to talk to me because they had an idea how much money I was having and the only one who could move it," he said. "That's why the cops believe it's an inside job -- family member or a friend. They were trying to take advantage of the situation, maybe somebody, they say, from the inside."
That was one reason why Torrealba's presence in Venezuela was kept secret.
"I was in Venezuela, but according to everybody else I was in Miami," Torrealba said. "I was right next to my wife when she was doing all the negotiations. Every time they asked for me she just said, 'You know what, he couldn't come. The Colorado Rockies, they haven't given permission. She was making excuses because they figured if they talk to me, knowing how close I am to my son, they could get more money."
Torrealba said his son was treated well by the abductors, who joked with him and even made him mad when they criticized Torrealba's play with the Rockies.
"He was actually arguing with one of the guys because the guy said his dad ... he's hitting .220," Torrealba said. "Obviously now it's fine. I told my son, it probably was the truth. I was hitting .220."
The abductors threatened to kill Morales and Marquez, according to Torrealba.
"They were saying to my wife we just care about your son," he said. "We're going to kill your brother-in-law, we're going to kill the other two guys. It was really hard for her, too."
Torrealba said it was hard for him to sit quietly while his wife was on the phone with the abductors.
"It's funny now because so many movies you watch, you want to be one of those guys in the movie and just kill everybody," he said. "It was really, really, sad, hard, seeing my wife try to negotiate with these guys, crying every two seconds. Seeing my dad next to me, usually a strong guy, crying like a little baby. It's hard. I was trying to be the strong guy but I couldn't. Those hours, they felt like days."
(© 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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