Blue Jays broadcaster and former player Buck Martinez is stepping away from his role at Sportsnet following a cancer diagnosis, he announced on Sunday.
“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,” Martinez said in a statement. “I’ve been so honored 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 has been with Sportsnet since 2010 as both a play-by-play announcer and color analyst. Prior to working with the Blue Jays, he was the color commentator on Orioles broadcasts between 2003 and 2009.
He had a 17-year playing career with the Royals, Brewers, and Blue Jays, with a reputation as a good defensive catcher and played over 1,000 games.
He also managed the Blue Jays in 2001 and part of the 2002 season.