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.