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Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s own unfortunate bouts with social media mistaken identity

04.17.13 at 12:00 pm ET

It was an unappetizing reminder for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

While in Toronto for the Red Sox‘€™ recent series, the catcher discovered that yet another fake Twitter account had been made using his name. It wasn’€™t the first time, and probably won’€™t be the last. In this case, after informing team officials, @JarrodSalty39 was taken down.

But that was hardly the worst social media controversy Saltalamacchia has had to weather.

The incident surfaced in 2005, just two years into his professional baseball career, when the catcher’€™s parents got a call from a woman.

‘€œI can’€™t believe your son’€™s not answering my daughter’€™s phone calls and answering her back on Facebook,’€ she said. The woman went on to tell John Saltalamacchia that her daughter was sick and dying. ‘€œI don’€™t want her to go through this,’€ she said.

The problem was, as Saltalamacchia’€™s father told the woman, that his son didn’€™t even have a Facebook account.

‘€œI felt bad because the person was portraying me to this girl and she was sick and dying,’€ Saltalamacchia remembered. ‘€œIt’€™s sad that somebody would actually do that to someone. That’€™s her memories of her last few weeks, months or years, whatever it was. It’€™s sad. I hate for that to happen to anybody it’€™s reality.’€

The Saltalamacchia family and the catcher’€™s team at the time, the Braves, informed Major League Baseball security and the account was taken down. (The player isn’€™t sure what happened to the person running the site.)

Saltalmacchia did dive back into social media for a short time, creating a Twitter account during the 2011 spring training. The account — @Jarrod_Salty39 ‘€“ was an attempt to, as he put it at the time, ‘€œConnect with fans at a bigger level.’€ He added, ‘€œWe’€™re at the field and nobody understands when we’€™re done with the day we have family to go home to. If we have time to sign or talk, we do it, but if we don’€™t we go home. It’€™s kind of a way to get out to the fans a little bit and thank them.’€

But the account came and went, although the supposed presence on Twitter didn’€™t go anywhere.

The fake accounts (even declaring themselves as the ‘€œofficial’€ ones for the player) have come and gone, leaving Saltalamacchia with wary eye when it comes to the medium.

‘€œIt’€™s sad that happened because it can be great way of interacting with your fans. But it turns people off because of stuff like that,’€ he said. ‘€œI work hard at being a good person, and being the person I can be, and being a leader for my family. If my kids start getting into that scene on the computer and they see stuff like that it’€™s going to look bad on me. So I try and stay straight and go ahead and worry about one thing, and that’€™s supporting my family.’€

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