Jarrod Scott Saltalamacchia (born May 2, 1985 in West Palm Beach, Florida), is a catcher and first baseman for the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team. Due in part to the length of his surname, which at 14 letters is the longest in Major League history, he is often referred to by his nickname, "Salty". His full name, at 20 letters, is tied for the longest in Major League history with former San Francisco Giants pitcher William Van Landingham.
Saltalamacchia was drafted out of high school in the first round of the June 2003 amateur draft by the Braves.
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, 2007. 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 hit 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 of 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), Jarrod 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.
Upon joining the Rangers after being traded and changing his number to 25 from 18, manager Ron Washington stated that Saltalamacchia will 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.
In 46 games with the Rangers in 2007, Saltamacchia batted .251, collecting 7 home runs and 21 RBI.
On March 26, 2008, Saltalmacchia 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 is married to a former teacher from his high school, Ashley Saltalamacchia (14 years his senior), though he was never directly her student. He has a daughter named Sidney, who was born on December 27, 2006. and a daughter Hunter born in December 2007.
- Saltalamacchia and his Rangers teammate, Kason Gabbard, were childhood friends. Both were traded to the Rangers from different teams on July 31st, 2007.
- Saltalamacchia taught at Bucky Dent Baseball Camp in Delray Beach, Florida. He was an instructor for a special catcher's program
- A 2003 High School graduate of Royal Palm Beach (West Palm Beach, FL)
- ↑ Rogers, Bowman (May 3, 2007). Saltalamacchia solid in debut. Braves.com. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
- ↑ Glier, Ray (May 3, 2007). Man of letters: Saltalamacchia sets mark. USA Today.
- ↑ "Rangers break record.". MLB.com (2007-08-22).
- ↑ "Laird named Rangers' starting catcher, Saltalamacchia sent down". ESPN.com (2008-03-26).
- ↑ Foul Territory: JD confirms Saltalamacchia
- ↑ To be a #1 prospects wife... raindelay.typepad.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
- ↑ Gabbard tastes victory in home debut. texas.rangers.mlb.com (2007-08-08).