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Saltalamacchia with the Braves on June 5, 2007.
Jarrod Scott Saltalamacchia (born May 2, 1985, in ), is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Texas Rangers.

He is often referred to by his nickname, "Salty", due in part to the length of his surname, which at 14 letters, is the longest in Major League history; his complete name, at 20 letters, is tied for the longest with former San Francisco Giants pitcher William Van Landingham.

Baseball career

Saltalamacchia was drafted out of Royal Palm Beachmarker High School in the first round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta Braves

In 2006, Saltalamacchia had a breakout season at Class A Myrtle Beach, where the switch-hitting slugger hit .314 with 35 doubles, 19 homers and 81 RBIs in 129 games.

In the season, Saltalamacchia started at catcher for the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Only 22 games into the season, he belted 7 home runs with a batting average of .373.

On his 22nd birthday, he was called up to Atlanta to replace Brayan Peña on the roster and to fill in for Brian McCann, who re-injured his finger on May 1, . Saltalamacchia's call-up made him the new record-holder of the longest last name in Major League Baseball history, at 14 letters.

On May 6, 2007, Saltalamacchia had the first hit of his major league career in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the seventh inning, with two outs and two men on base, Saltalamacchia got his first RBI, which also drove in the winning run for the Braves. On May 27, 2007, Saltalamacchia hit his first major league home run, a solo shot off Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. On June 26 in a start at first base, Saltalamacchia had his first multi-home run game. Both blasts came batting right-handed off left-handed Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2007, Saltalamacchia was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Because Saltalamacchia was "blocked" (McCann, who was recently signed to a large contract with Atlanta, is a more accomplished player already catching with the Braves), he was the subject of much trade speculation within baseball, as a powerful switch-hitting catcher commands interest from nearly any baseball club within the major leagues. After much speculation, he was traded to the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2007, with four prospects for first baseman Mark Teixeira and reliever Ron Mahay.

Though actual playing time was limited, Saltalamacchia batted .284 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI in 47 games with Atlanta in 2007.

Texas Rangers

Upon joining the Rangers after being traded and changing his number to 18 from 16, manager Ron Washington stated that Saltalamacchia would serve as a first baseman and catcher. In his first game with the Rangers on August 1, 2007, Saltalamacchia started at first base and drove in two runs.

On August 22, 2007, Saltalamacchia had two home runs and seven RBIs in the historic 30-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

In 46 games with the Rangers in 2007, Saltamacchia batted .251, collecting 7 home runs and 21 RBIs.

On March 26, , Saltalamacchia lost the starting catching job to Gerald Laird, and the Rangers chose to send him down to the minors to catch every day instead of sitting as the backup. However, Saltalamacchia was soon called up on April 25, 2008.

Saltalamacchia suffered a shoulder injury on August 15, 2009 and was placed on the disabled list.

Personal

Saltalamacchia is married to a former teacher from his high school, Ashley Saltalamacchia (14 years his senior), though he was never her student. He has a daughter named Sidney, who was born on December 27, 2006. and a daughter named Hunter born in December 2007. Saltalamacchia and his former Rangers teammate, Kason Gabbard, were childhood friends. Both were traded to the Rangers from different teams on July 31, 2007.

Saltalamacchia taught at Bucky Dent Baseball Camp in Delray Beach, Floridamarker. Saltalamacchia was an instructor for a special catcher's program.

He has a tattoo on both of his forearms, one reading 'Sidney' and the other reading 'Hunter', in recogntion of his two kids. He also has a tattoo that reads 'Salty' on his upper left arm. He has a tattoo on his left ring finger, honoring his marriage to his wife Ashley. All in all, Saltalamacchia has seven tattoos.

References

  1. [1]
  2. Foul Territory: JD confirms Saltalamacchia


External links

  • http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/sportscolumns/entries/2007/07/15/salty_gets_big.html



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