Buck Martinez is synonymous with the Toronto Blue Jays, having played for them, managed them, and called their games over the course of the last four decades. The 73-year-old announced Sunday that he was taking a leave of absence from the broadcasting booth after being diagnosed with cancer and beginning treatment.
A message from Buck Martinez pic.twitter.com/iZxEpiiPQ6
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) April 17, 2022
“Today will be my last game in the booth for a little while as I have recently been diagnosed with cancer and will begin the process for treatment in the coming weeks,” wrote Martinez. “I’ve been so honoured and privileged to have the support of Blue Jays fans, colleagues, staff, and players since I arrived here in 1981, and that continued support through this next challenge means the world to me.
“I’m grateful for a tremendous medical team, who has given me great optimism that I will come through this with flying colors. I hope to rejoin my Sportsnet teammates for the stretch run later this season, but in the meantime, I will be watching from the sidelines as I fight the good fight.
“I thank everyone in advance for respecting my and my family’s privacy during this time.”
Martinez finished up his 17-year playing career and jumped into the booth as a color analyst for the Jays in 1987, which he would do until 2001 when he left the booth to manage the team. Midway through his second season, he was fired, and he returned to the booth, this time as a color commentator for Baltimore Orioles and also did work for TBS and NESN. He returned to the Blue Jays booth in 2010, now as a play-by-play announcer, and has been there since.