Blue Jays’ Buck Martinez stepping away after cancer diagnosis

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.

Television announcer John Albert "Buck" Martinez watches before Game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the Royals and Blue Jays in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Oct.  23, 2015.
Buck Martinez
AP

“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.

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