Acid Flashback Friday: Buck Martinez

No matter where the game of baseball takes certain players, some of them always end up gravitating back to one particular place. For Buck Martinez, that place is Toronto.

For this week’s Acid Flashback Friday, we look back at the former player, reporter, coach, and new Sportsnet play-by-play announcer, Buck Martinez.

In total Martinez has been to the Blue Jays organization in some form or another five separate times. Talk about a cat with nine lives!


His first tour with the Blue Jays was as catcher for six years. Following the 1986 season, Martinez hung up his catcher’s gear and picked up a microphone as the new color analyst for TSN.

There are a couple of great videos on Youtube of him interviewing most of the players on the Blue Jays roster in the clubhouse after they clinched the division title in 1991.

As a side note, watch the clip of Joe Carter at around 38 seconds. Isn’t it identical to his celebration when he hit that home run off Mitch Williams in 1993?

Somehow, Buck also found time in 1985 and 1986 to pen two books: “From Worst to First” and “The Last Out”. Personally, I’ve never read either of them, but at one point I did have “The Last Out” in my possession. Unfortunately, I never got around to reading it.

After numerous years in the broadcast booth, the Blue Jays hired Buck Martinez as manager in 2001 but he was relieved of his duties a mere season and a half later. With an overall 100-115 record as a manager, it was a little surprising the organization decided to let Martinez go so early. Maybe they were a little impatient and weren’t willing to see what would happen if Buck finished out the season in 2002.

Following that, Buck returned to the field of broadcasting, most recently as the co-host of XM Radio’s “Baseball This Morning”.

Now here we are full circle, and Buck Martinez is set to return to the Blue Jays television broadcast team. With a guy like Martinez calling the games, you can be sure that he will definitely have lots of memories and experiences to draw from as a former player, coach, and broadcaster.

Welcome back, Buck.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

8 thoughts on “Acid Flashback Friday: Buck Martinez

  • March 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Buck sported quite the epic stache back in the day, eh?

  • March 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    It's fantastic – I tried to find a good pic of him sporting the stache, but found nothing.

    That stache is of Rod Black proportions.

  • March 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    If there was any doubt in my mind about being excited for Buck to take over the duties on RSN, Campbell's Olympic coverage reminded me how much I disliked everything he said. His coverage of the snowboard cross might have been the worst play by play ever… and I've watched Canadian University football/basketball on Rogers Public.

    Welcome back Buck!

  • March 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Adam, I agree – it will be a nice change to have Buck calling the broadcasts.

    Not that I have anything against Jamie Campbell, but I don't think he was a student of the game so much as a fan.

    I couldn't understand why he was praised so much for his Olympic commentary either. Maybe it was because it just so happened he was there to call a lot Canada's Gold Medals.

  • March 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I love how Joe Carter looks like he's dressed as a mid-80s WWF wrestler in that video. Awesome.

  • March 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Gotta love the cutoff sleeveless shirts. Those were classic.

    And what was up with Tom Candiotti wearing a San Fransisco 49'ers shirt?

  • March 27, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Aside from Duane Ward reminding me of Bennett from Commando, for a second, I thought the Blue Jays dressing room was Jays Shop. Something weird about those semi-circle tables.

    As for Buck Martinez the manager, Jeff Blair thinks it was about a season too much as bench boss, but I hear Blair is a little on the negative side.

  • March 28, 2010 at 2:54 am

    BK, from what I can remember, the Buck Martinez as manager thing seemed a lot like the decision to bring Cito back. Maybe the head office thought the nostalgia would bring more success to the team.

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