Tuesday, April 9, 2013

no. 163 - buck martinez

Who is the man: Buck Martinez barely played pro baseball in 1970, spending most of the year serving in the Air National Guard. He played just six games for the Royals, yet received a card.

Can ya dig it: Martinez looks very bizarre without his mustache. And, I don't know how the photographer did it, but Martinez appears all of 4 feet tall in this picture. He's listed as being 5-foot-10.

Right on: Buck is the first baseball-playing Martinez I ever knew, just a shade before Ted Martinez and slightly before Tippy and Dennis Martinez.

You see this cat Martinez is a bad mother: Martinez's most famous home plate encounter as a catcher happened in 1985 when he broke his leg as the Mariners' Phil Bradley slammed into him. After tagging Bradley out, Martinez managed to throw to third base in a bid to catch an advancing Gorman Thomas. The throw went into left field, and when Thomas tried to go home, Martinez was there to tag Thomas out, broken leg and all. All caught on video, of course.

Shut your mouth: Martinez is known more now as the voice of the Blue Jays. But I think more people talk about his hair than his broadcasting.

No one understands him but his woman: Martinez's managing stint with the Blue Jays didn't last long. Hired for the 2001 season, Toronto went 80-82. Martinez was fired 53 games into the following season.

(A word about the back): "Veteran of Little League ..." Come on, now.


  1. Its a good shot of the 100 year aniversary patch.

  2. About the patch..with his limited playing time in 1970, it makes me wonder if his picture was from the 1969 season. Martinez is the only Royal with the patch (and the only pic of a Royal in uniform taken at a OYS)in 1970 set. In 1971, there is a lot of Royal in MLB action shots but at no point do they appear to be wearing the patch.

  3. Pretty sure the patch was exclusive to 1969. Maybe in spring training in '70 as well? Sometimes it seems teams don't fully exchange for the newest unis until the regular season starts.