Martinez stepping away from Blue Jays booth to undergo cancer treatment

April 17th, 2022

TORONTO -- Buck Martinez, whose career with the Blue Jays spreads over four decades as a player, manager and broadcaster, announced that he will be stepping away from the mix following Sunday’s game to undergo treatment for cancer. 

Martinez, 73, played 17 seasons in the Major Leagues with the final six coming in Toronto from 1981 to ’86, including as part of some of the best teams in club history. He later returned as manager in 2001, a position he held to the midway point of the 2002 season. 

“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,” Martinez said in a statement Sunday, “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 colours.”

Younger Blue Jays fans have gotten to know Martinez as the voice of the Blue Jays on Sportsnet, where he’s in his 12th year as a broadcaster. From the field to the broadcast booth and so many places in between, Martinez has become part of the fabric of Blue Jays baseball across Canada.

If you’ve seen the Blue Jays hit a home run in the last decade, you’ve heard Martinez’s famous call, “Get up, ball! Get up!” Whether you’re on a back field at the Blue Jays’ complex in Dunedin, Fla., on a cool morning in February or at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto before the biggest games of the season, Martinez is there, his trademark voice always catching your attention first. 

Martinez hopes to return to the broadcast booth later this season following his treatment, and in the meantime, says that “I will be watching from the sidelines as I fight the good fight.”