Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Monday, November 15, 2010

1976 Topps #616 - Buck Martinez

  • Buck Martinez is probably more famous as a broadcaster, but he also had a 17 year career (1969-1986) as a backup catcher for three teams. Buck was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1967. He was taken by the  Houston Astros in the Rule 5 draft in 1968, and then was traded to the Kansas City Royals in a four-player deal.
  • Buck shared time with Ellie Rodriguez at catcher in 1969 and batted .228 in 72 games. Martinez played in six games in August and September in 1970 and went 1 for 9. 
  • Buck was in the minors for most of the 1971 season and batted .152 in 22 games for the Royals. Martinez was in the minors for the entire 1972 season and for most of the 1973 season. Buck batted .250 in 14 games for the Royals in 1973.
  • Buck was a backup catcher in 1974 (.215 in 43 games) and in 1975 (.226 in 80 games). In 1976 Martinez shared time behind the plate with Bob Stinson and batted .228 in 95 games. Buck went 5 for 15 (.333) during the 1976 ALCS.
  • Buck's last season with the Royals was in 1977. He batted .225 in 29 games and on December 8 was traded with Mark Littell to the St. Louis Cardinals for Al Hrabosky. Later that same day Buck was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for George Frazier.
  • Martinez and Charlie Moore split the catching duties from 1978-1980. Buck batted .219 in 89 games in 1978, .270 in 69 games in 1979, and  .224 in 76 games in 1980. 
  • Martinez didn't play for the first five weeks of the 1981 season. Buck was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 10, 1981 for Gil Kubski. From 1981-1986 Martinez backed up Ernie Whitt at catcher. Buck had his best power years in 1982 and 1983--he hit ten homers in each of those seasons. 
  • Buck fractured his leg while participating in a strange double play in July 1985. Martinez tagged out a runner trying to score on a throw from right field and fractured his leg on the play. Buck made an errant throw to third base. The left fielder backed up the play and  threw back to the plate. Buck was sprawled out in front of the plate but managed to tag out the runner trying to score.
  • Buck retired after the 1986 season and became a broadcaster for the Blue Jays. Martinez later did some broadcasting for ESPN until November 2000. Buck was hired to be the Toronto manager for the 2001 season. He managed the club until May 2002. Toronto was 80-82 in 2001 (.494) but was playing at a .377 clip when Buck was let go as manager.
  • Martinez returned to the broadcasting booth after being fired as manager. He has broadcast for TBS and for the Blue Jays. Buck also managed Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.


1 comment:

  1. If I recall, in Ball Four Bouton said that during a scouting session no one knew how to pitch to him (he was John Martinez in the book) so Joe Schultz just said to "zitz" him - and then of course pound those Budweisers...