Jun 12, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez talks with third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

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.

“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.


“On behalf of the Toronto Blue Jays organization and fans across the country, we want to extend our well-wishes to Buck and his family. We look forward to seeing him back at the ballpark and on the broadcast again soon,” Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a statement.

There were plenty of well-wishes and kind messages from others in the sports media world after Martinez posted his message.

Rogers Communications has not announced who will fill in for Martinez during his leave as of yet.

[Buck Martinez]


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.