TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The baseball family at the University of Tampa is a bit more meaningful for Yorvis Torrealba. He was kidnapped in his home country of Venezuela when he was 11 years old.
“Me and my two uncles we left the house and two houses down a car backed out and got in the middle of us. Four guys with guns got into their car and kidnapped us,” he said.
Three days later he was released for what he remembers to be some sort of a mixup.
“They were asking for money…I don’t know how it happened because I was inside but I guess the kidnappers got a miscommunication, so they released us. It was awful. It was something I had work hard to get through.”
Torrealba just joined the UT baseball team in the Spring, but head coach Joe Urso says despite everything his young outfielder has been through, it’s transformed him into an immediate impact player.
Urso told News Channel 8, “He doesn’t take anything for granted. He works hard every day and the guys look up to him. He’s one of our team leaders.”
Torrealba was recently named the South Region Player of the Year according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and will try to help power this Spartan team to their eighth World Series title this weekend.