When the Red Sox acquired catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Texas for three prospects at the 2010 regular season trading deadline, I did not think this native of West Palm Beach, Florida was going to start behind the plate for Boston. He had been only a backup receiver since making his big league debut with the Braves in 2007. Though injury prone and not very good defensively, Vic Martinez was hitting the ball very well as the Red Sox starting catcher in 2010. I figured “Salty” was being picked up at the time to replace second stringer Jason Varitek, who was nearing retirement.
Then at the end of that season, Martinez’s contract expired and Boston let him sign with the Tigers. I was still expecting Boston to swing a deal for a starting catcher, but when Opening Day came around the following year, the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia had that job and the veteran Varitek was now his backup. He ended up remaining the team’s top receiver during his three complete years with the Red Sox and though he was by no means an All Star at the position, he did perform admirably, especially offensively. He slugged a career high 25 home runs in 2012 and then increased his batting average by 50 points during Boston’s World Championship 2013 season. After his success in Beantown, I did believe the Red Sox would re-sign him after the World Series. Again they surprised me by letting the Marlins grab Saltalamacchia while they signed the veteran A.J. Pierzynski.
Another former Red Sox born on this same date is Eddie Bressoud, who made the AL All Star team when he started at shortstop for Boston back in the 1960s.