Sunday might be the last time Toronto Blue Jays fans hear the voice of play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez for some time as the baseball legend steps back to begin treatment for cancer.
In a statement, Martinez said he would begin treatment in “the coming weeks” and that Sunday would be his last game in the booth “for a little while.”
The Blue Jays play Oakland Athletics at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
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“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, and that continued support through this next challenge means the world to me,” Martinez wrote.
Martinez played 17 seasons of Major League Baseball, turning out for the Kansas City Royals, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Blue Jays. He also briefly managed the Blue Jays between 2001 and 2002.
Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted his support for the broadcaster. “Let’s all rally behind Buck Martinez as he battles cancer,” he said.
Let's all rally behind Buck Martinez as he battles cancer! He's become much more than a former @BlueJays player, manager and broadcaster after all of these decades. Let's make sure he feels the love!! #BlueJays #buckmartinez
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 17, 2022
Mark Shapiro, the Blue Jays’ CEO, also offered his support in a statement. “We have no doubt Buck will face the road ahead with courage, determination and his signature positivity,” he said.
“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,” Martinez wrote.
Martinez said his medical team had given him optimism that he would emerge from treatment “with flying colours.”