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Thread: New Astros A to Z Article: The Ken Ramos Tragedy

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    Senior Member Therion's Avatar
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    New Astros A to Z Article: The Ken Ramos Tragedy

    I have a new article up on Astros A to Z. I write articles to examine the careers and lives of Astros players. I tend to focus on the guys that we don't often think about. I would love feedback positive or negative!

    Here is a link to the article. I have also put the entire article here. If you like it, give the link a click to help out my analytics. Also feel free to read any of the other articles I have posted.

    The Ken Ramos Tragedy

    ​His last act was pure cowardice. He pulled the trigger and ended his life. It was the easier option than facing the consequences of what he had just done.

    Few outside of Pueblo, Colorado, will remember the name Ken Ramos. His major league career consisted of 14 plate appearances for the Houston Astros. He has a career .000 batting average and drove in one more RBI than almost everyone who might read this. Do not let that fool you. Ken Ramos was a good baseball player.

    Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs, Ramos would opt to go to college and hope for a better draft position. Three years later he signed his name to a Minor League contract with the Cleveland Indians. His dream was coming true. In 1990, he made the Carolina League All-Stars and was considered a top prospect. Ramos was not done being impressive. Two years later he would explode offensively and the Indians named him their Minor League Player of the Year.

    His value went deeper than just his bat. He was fast, had a great feel for field positioning, and was considered a strong dugout presence. The Indians had struck gold, but they knew his value was going to come in a trade. Ramos was trapped in the Minor Leagues because there was nobody in the outfield going anywhere. In 1994, while chasing a pennant that would never materialize thanks to a playerís strike, the Indians needed a backup catcher. They traded Ramos to the White Sox for Matt Merullo.

    Unimpressed with Ramos, the White Sox placed him on waivers and the Houston Astros bet that they could help develop him into a valuable piece of their farm system. After three years, the Astros felt they had a role for him: pinch hitter. Major League pitching overwhelmed Ramos. In his fourteen at bats in 1997, he never managed a hit. It was a deflating moment for a rookie that was known for his batting abilities. The Astros sent him back down to AAA. Before ending his career, he had one more moment of baseball greatness to give. In 1998, alongside Astros legend Lance Berkman, Ramos helped lead the New Orleans Zephyrs to a AAA World Series championship.

    It was a great way to end a good Minor League career and he knew his opportunity had come and gone. There was no future for him in professional baseball, so he retired. He returned to Pueblo, Colorado, as a hero. He had made it to the Major Leagues. They did not care if it was not great. They had a Major Leaguer living in their town and they loved it. He became a larger than life figure locally, coaching Pueblo Central High Schoolís baseball team for several years. Everything seemed great. He was married. He had two amazing children. He was loved.

    Inside the Ramos household looked very different. His marriage to his wife, Lisa, was beginning to crumble. It is unclear what events unfolded before the police got a call on May 15, 2016. Was it twenty years of wondering what could have been? Was it money problems? Was it family strife? Ultimately, this information has been kept private. What is known is that a few weeks earlier, the police were called after a report of screaming in their house. There had been no violence, so they left with no arrests, simply reporting it as a domestic dispute. A few days later, Ken Ramos purchased a handgun. Neighbors reported being frightened by how he was acting. Then it happened.

    At 3:00 PM on May 15, 2016, a neighbor called the police to report screams. It does not matter why it happened. It will all sound like an excuse. Maybe he was experiencing a lot of inner turmoil about his failures as a baseball player. Maybe his wife was horrible to him. Maybe we could never understand how difficult it all must have been. None of that matters. When police arrived, they found Lisa Ramos dead with two bullet wounds. Ken Ramos died a coward. Instead of facing the consequences, he took his own life. He is not a sad case of a career gone wrong. He is not an example of the perverse pressures that professional athletes struggle against.

    He is just a murderer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MrMet's Avatar
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    Damn dude...without knowing any of his story or anything about him previously, all I know is that that was a very well written, sometimes strongly worded, but also emotionally charged article. I donít think Iíd change a thing.


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    Nice write up

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    Well written, that last line just hangs there, makes him feel like a hollow tragedy

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    Senior Member Therion's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts. I'm trying to tighten up my writing. I had three different directions I thought about taking the story, but this one felt the most true.

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    I don't know much about fine writing skills but when I read something with truth behind it, it typically feels deeper and more impactful. That's probably why I enjoy biographies more than anything else.

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    Senior Member dano7's Avatar
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    You did well. You presented facts, some possible things that could have happened and presented the truth. Always go with the truth, though it seems fewer and fewer in our country believe than anymore.
    Collector of Autographs, TTM autographs, Vintage, Yankees and Mantle
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    Senior Member tonsofcommons's Avatar
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    Great writing! Very emotional. Thanks for sharing!
    Eddie

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