Buck Martinez

Buck Martinez

Infobox MLB retired
name=Buck Martinez
position=Catcher / Manager
birthdate=birth date and age|1948|11|7
debutdate=June 18
debutteam=Kansas City Royals
finaldate=October 3
finalteam=Toronto Blue Jays
stat2label=Home runs
teams= As Player
*Kansas City Royals (by|1969-by|1977)
*Milwaukee Brewers (by|1978-by|1980)
*Toronto Blue Jays (by|1981-by|1986)As Manager
*Toronto Blue Jays (by|2001-by|2002)
*United States (by|2006)

John Albert "Buck" Martinez (born November 7, 1948 in Redding, California) is a former catcher and manager in Major League Baseball, and currently a television baseball commentator. He also managed Team USA at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.

Martinez attended Elk Grove High School, Sacramento City College, Sacramento State University and Southwestern Missouri State University.

Playing career

Martinez made his major league debut in by|1969, playing 72 games with the Kansas City Royals. Over the next few years, however, he developed the reputation of being an offensive liability, and he never appeared in more than 95 games during his time with Kansas City (through by|1977).

Martinez was traded twice over the next few years, first to the Milwaukee Brewers in late 1977 and then to the Toronto Blue Jays in early by|1980 after being designated for assignment. Martinez is most remembered for his time in Toronto, where he twice hit 10 home runs (in by|1982 and by|1983) and was regarded as a solid defensive catcher.

Martinez's career took a bad turn when he severely dislocated his ankle and broke his leg in a home plate collision with the Seattle Mariners' Phil Bradley at the Kingdome on July 9, by|1985. After the collision, he still managed to throw the ball to third base in an attempt to catch the advancing runner, his former teammate Gorman Thomas. When the throw went into left field, Thomas tried to come home. However, he was tagged out by a sprawled-out Martinez, who had managed to catch the return throw from George Bell on the ground, thus completing what is perhaps the only 9-2-7-2 double play in Major League history.

Martinez attempted a comeback in by|1986 but retired after hitting .181 in 81 games.


In by|1987, Martinez began his career as a radio color analyst for Toronto Blue Jays games. Eventually, this led to a job with TSN in which he was first paired with Fergie Olver; when Olver was replaced by Jim Hughson in 1990, Martinez remained the color analyst. The pair of Hughson and Martinez also worked together on a number of ESPN telecasts, as well as on EA Sports "Triple Play Baseball". Hughson left TSN in by|1994, and was replaced by Dan Shulman. Like Hughson, Shulman also frequently moonlighted on ESPN. Eventually, Shulman joined ESPN full-time, whereas Martinez pursued a managing career.

Since by|2003, he has been a color commentator for Baltimore Orioles television broadcasts, alongside play-by-play announcers Jim Hunter and Gary Thorne on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. In 2005, Martinez was named a co-host of XM Radio's "Baseball This Morning" show on MLB Home Plate radio. Martinez also contributes color commentary for Sunday afternoon games on TBS as well as for TBS's coverage of the postseason.

Managerial career

In by|2000, Martinez was hired as Toronto's manager after Jim Fregosi's contract was not renewed. Martinez's energetic attitude was seen as the right fit for the Jays' young roster and through the first two months of the season Toronto outperformed expectations. The success, however, was shortlived as the team struggled through the remainder of the season and they finished a mediocre 80-82. He was fired 53 games into the by|2002 season after posting a 20–33 record. Ironically, at the time he was fired the Blue Jays were on a three-game winning streak, having just swept the Detroit Tigers. He was then replaced by Carlos Tosca.

Martinez was selected as the field manager for Team USA in the by|2006 inaugural World Baseball Classic. He led the team of superstar American players to the second round. Martinez wore number 13 as both a player and a manager in the Major Leagues. He wore number 31 while managing in the WBC, as Alex Rodriguez wore number 13.

Managerial record

External links

* [http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/M/Martinez_Buck.stm Baseball Library: Buck Martinez]

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