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Longtime Toronto Blue Jays announcer Buck Martinez is taking a leave of absence from the booth after being diagnosed with cancer. Martinez, 73, did not reveal how long he would be away from the team, but said he hoped to be back by the end of the 2022 MLB season.
Martinez announced his diagnosis and leave of absence in a statement Sunday. Martinez will begin his leave following Sunday's game.
Martinez said doctors have "given me great optimism that I will come through this with flying colors."
The Blue Jays also released a statement, sending their well wishes to Martinez and his family.
We’re all in your corner, Buck 💙 pic.twitter.com/7VNRUTvVOl
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 17, 2022
The team added, "We have no doubt Buck will face the road ahead with courage, determination and his signature positivity."
Buck Martinez has been member of Blue Jays for decades
Martinez has strong connections to the Blue Jays' organization. Martinez spent six seasons with the team as a player. Upon retiring after the 1986 season, Martinez joined the Blue Jays as a broadcaster. Martinez eventually was hired to be the team's manager in 2001. He lasted a season and a half, compiling a 100-115 record.
Martinez returned to the booth with the Baltimore Orioles. He remained with the team through 2009. Martinez then returned to call games with the Blue Jays in 2010. He's been a mainstay in the broadcast booth for Toronto since then.