A 1967 draftee of the Phillies, Buck Martinez made his major league debut in 1969 with the Royals. He played 8 seasons in Kansas City and 3 with the Brewers before he was traded to the Blue Jays in 1981 for Gil Kubski. Martinez played 6 seasons with the Jays. He never had more than 300 PAs with the Jays as he mainly served as Ernie Whitt’s backup. The pair were an effective tandem.
Martinez’ defence is what made him a major leaguer and what made him valuable to the Jays. However, he had two very solid offensive years with the Jays in 1982 and 1983. He hit 10 home runs in both years with an OPS of .724 and .790 respectively. He slashed .222/.297/.378 in his time with the Jays and defensively he had a 3.5 dWAR and saved 16 Total Zone Fielding Runs above average.
Martinez completed one of the gutsiest and most valiant double plays in MLB history (see here) which ended his season. He made a comeback in 1986 and played the whole year but wasn’t the same player.
He began a broadcasting career in 1987 on the radio for the Blue Jays. He was named Manager of the Blue Jays prior to the 2001 season—taking over for Jim Fregosi. He was fired mid-way through the 2002 season. He went back to broadcasting and in 2010 became the TV play-by-play man for the Blue Jays. He’ll remain in that role for the foreseeable future after signing a 5 year extension in 2014.
Among Jays’ catchers all-time he ranks 5th in WAR, 6th in HRs, 6th in runs, 6th in RBI, 3rd in Defensive Runs
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