Sunday’s series finale between the Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics visit will be the last game for Toronto broadcaster Buck Martinez “for a while” as he prepares for cancer treatment.
The 73-year-old Sportsnet analyst announced his diagnosis in a statement on Sunday morning.
“I have been so honored and privileged to have the support of the Blue Jays fans, colleagues, staff and players since I came here in 1981, and continued support during this next challenge means the world to me,” she said. .
“I am grateful for an exceptional medical team, which has given me great optimism that I will pass all of this with flying colors.”
Martinez hopes to return to the stand later this season.
“In the meantime,” said the former Blue Jays receiver, “I’ll be watching from the sidelines as I fight the good fight.”
17 years of playing career
Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro believes Martinez will approach his treatment with “courage, determination and positivity.”
The veteran broadcaster’s association with the Blue Jays dates back to 81, when he began a five-year stint as one of the team’s receivers. Martinez enjoyed a 17-year career in Major League Baseball as a player that also included stops with the Kansas City Royals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
He was named manager of the Blue Jays in 2001 but fired midway through his second season after setting a record of 100-115.
Blessed with a silky voice and smooth delivery, Martinez first stepped behind the microphone in 1987 as a color commentator for Jays’ games on TSN.
He also helped call games for ESPN, TBS, and the Baltimore Orioles.