|Full Name: John Albert Martinez
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 5-10 Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: Nov 07, 1948 in Redding, CA
College: Sacramento State
Major League Debut: June 18, 1969
|CAREER BATTING STATISTICS|
|CAREER FIELDING STATISTICS|
|CAREER PITCHING STATISTICS|
Originally signed by the Phillies, Martinez fashioned a seventeen-season career on defensive talents. Although a .283 hitter in five Minor League campaigns, he hit over .250 only twice in the Majors. He was slow afoot and hit with power infrequently. He was, however, excellent at blocking home plate, had an accurate arm, and handled pitchers well. Martinez was most productive in platoon situations, first with Bob Stinson at Kansas City, then with Charlie Moore in Milwaukee, and finally paired with Ernie Whitt for Toronto. In 1976 he tied Jim Sundberg for best fielding average (.991) among AL receivers.
Martinez never fully recovered from a fractured leg and dislocated ankle sustained while blocking home plate in July 1985. After tagging out the lead runner and suffering a broken leg, he threw to third from the ground. It was a bad throw, and that runner came home too; Martinez managed to take the throw and tag him out as well.
Martinez worked as a broadcaster for the Blue Jays and ESPN until November 3, 2000, when he was hired to replace Jim Fregosi as the club's manager. He finished the 2001 season with a W-L record of 80-82. Buck was fired during the 2002 season when Toronto's record stood at 20-33 and was replaced by Carlos Tosca who never played professional baseball. Ironically, Buck was fired the day after winning his 100th game as a manager.
PERSONAL: John Albert (Buck) Martinez... Married, wife's name Arlene... One child, Casey (8/31/77)... Graduated from Elk Grove High School in California... Attended Sacramento City College, Sacramento State University and Southwestern Missouri State University... Resides in Holmdel, New Jersey... Son Casey was drafted in the 47th round (1384th overall) of the 2000 June Draft and is currently in the Blue Jays organization... Has written two books, both about seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays entitled "From Worst to First" (1985) and "The Last Out" (1986)... Enjoys golfing, hunting and fishing.
BROADCASTING CAREER: 1982-88 worked with the Telemedia Radio Network covering the American League Championship Series, the World Series and the All-Star Game... Began TV broadcast career in 1987 with The Sports Network (TSN)... Was the Colour Commentator for Blue Jays games televised on TSN... Worked radio and television for ESPN Baseball broadcasts beginning in 1992... Served as an analyst on ESPN's Wednesday night Game of the Week telecasts and on Baseball Tonight... Continued to work for both TSN and ESPN through the 2000 baseball season... In addition to his work in baseball, he was the host of the half hour special "The Boys of Winter" and "Knockout", a half-hour game show.
PLAYING CAREER: 1967: Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies organization after being selected in the 2nd round of the January Free Agent Draft... Batted .357 in his first professional season with Eugene of the Northwest League (A)... Led the league in games (77) and assists (48) by a catcher...
1968: Split the season between Spartanburg (A) of the West Carolinas League and Tidewater (A) of the Carolina League where he combined to bat .304 in 44 games with one home run and 25 RBI... Drafted by the Houston Astros organization on December 2 in the minor league draft... Was traded to the Kansas City Royals along with IF Mickey Sinnerud and C Tommie Smith in exchange for C John Jones on December 16...
1969: Batted .229 in 72 games with four home runs and 23 RBI in his first season in the major leagues... Shared catching duties with Ellie Rodriguez... Was on the restricted list from April 7 to June 17...
1970: Played in just six games after spending most of the season in active duty in the Air National Guard. [See MILITARY CATCHERS ]
1971: Was the opening day catcher for the Royals... With Kansas City batted .152 in 22 games... Spent most of the season with Omaha (AAA) of the American Association where he batted .286 with five home runs and 39 RBI in 75 games...
1972: Did not see any major league action after hitting .174 with four home runs and 12 RBI in 67 games with Omaha of the American Association... Spent much of the season on the disabled list from July 9 to August 25...
1973: Started the season with Omaha where he batted .272 with five home runs and 38 RBI in 82 games... Finished the season with the Royals, playing in 14 games and batted .250 with a home run and six RBI...
1974: Spent the entire season in the major league for the first time and batted .215 with one home run and eight RBI...
1975: Played in 80 games and hit three home runs and drove in 23 while batting .226... Caught 79 games, the most by a Royals catcher that season, posting a .980 fielding percentage... Stole his first career base...
1976: Caught 94 games and posted a .991 fielding percentage... Hit in a career high 11 straight from May 4-19... Was on the disabled list from May 20 to June 5... On the season batted .228 with five home runs and 34 RBI... In the post season vs. the Yankees batted .333 with five hits and four RBI in 15 at bats...
1977: Played in just 29 games for the Royals and batted .225 with one home run and nine RBI... Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals along with RHP Mark Littell in exchange for LHP Al Hrabosky on December 8... Was traded that same day to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for RHP George Frazier...
1978: Batted .219 in 89 games and had career highs in runs scored (26) and sacrifice hits (12)...
1979: Batted a career high .270 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 69 games... Batted .330 in the second half of the season... Pitched in one game for the Brewers allowing one run in an inning of work (1H, BB)...
1980: Hit .224 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 76 games for the Brewers... Had a .985 fielding percentage and threw out 42% of attempted base-stealers...
1981: Was traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for OF Gil Kubski on May 11... Made his Blue Jays debut that same day (0-1) as a late inning substitution... Started the next night and picked up a two run double and scored the winning run... For the season batted .227 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 45 games...
1982: Set career highs in hits (63), doubles (17), home runs (10) and RBI (37)... Batted .242 in 96 games and posted a .988 fielding percentage in 93 games behind the plate...
1983: Platooned with Ernie Whitt seeing most of his action vs. left-handed pitching... Matched career high with 10 home runs... Seven of his 10 home runs came when catching Jim Clancy... Set career highs with 27 runs and 29 walks... Had a .989 fielding percentage in 85 games as catcher...
1984: Batted .220 with five home runs and tied career high with 37 RBI... Played in a career high 102 games, 98 behind the plate where he posted a .995 fielding percentage which tied for the league lead (Jim Sundberg, TEX) among catchers with 95 games or more played... Had first career two homer game on June 23 at Boston's Fenway Park... Set club mark for sac flies in a season with nine... Batted .304 with runners in scoring position... Was hitless in 23 at bats from June 23 to July 3...
1985: Played in just 42 games and batted .162 with four home runs and 14 RBI... Was hitless in 32 at bats from April 28 to May 29... Hit three home runs in 12 at bats... Injured in a collision at the plate with Phil Bradley in Seattle on July 9, where he recorded two putouts on the play... Sustained dislocated right ankle and broken right fibula and was placed on the 21-day disabled list from July 10 through the remainder of the season... Had corrective surgery on July 17... Finished the season writing a season-in- review book titled "From Worst to First"...
1986: Played in 81 games for Toronto and batted .181 with two home runs and 12 RBI... On June 14 vs. Detroit's Willie Hernandez, hit his second career pinch hit home run (solo) to win the game 6-5 with two outs in the ninth inning... Recorded his 600th career hit on June 12 vs. Detroit and played in his 1000th career game on June 15 vs. Detroit... Wrote his second book called "The Last Out" which noted his final season in the majors as a player.