Jack Graney Award

The Jack Graney Award

Presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to a representative of the media who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball in Canada through their life’s work, or for a singular outstanding achievement.

The committee is Chaired by Kevin Glew, sports writer and editor for the Canadian Baseball Network and Cooperstowners in Canada. The voting committee are the previous winners of the Graney award.

Jack Graney’s Career

Jack Graney’s road to the big leagues began in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he was born and recommended to the Chicago Cubs by fellow Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Bob Emslie.

After a season in the Cubs organization, Graney was sold to Cleveland, where he would evolve into a steady, dependable outfielder.

First Batter to Face Babe Ruth

His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When Graney walked to the plate in a game against the Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth.

Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he would be the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform.

World Series Winner

A scrappy leadoff hitter, Graney would lead the American League in walks twice (1917 and 1919) and in doubles once (1916). The speedy Canuck also finished in the top 10 in triples in 1913 and 1916, with 12 and 14 three-baggers respectively. He was also a member of the World Series-winning Indians squad in 1920.

Transition to Broadcasting

Following his playing career, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.

Nominate a Media Representative

If you feel someone is worthy of winning the Jack Graney award please submit your nomination in email to the Hall of Fame’s office by November 1 of each year. Winner is announced late November.

2023 AWARD Winner


St. Marys, Ont. – Longtime Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2023 Jack Graney Award.

The St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this award annually to a member of the media who has made significant contributions to baseball in Canada through their life’s work.

“When people talk about the Toronto Blue Jays, one of the first names they will mention is Buck Martinez,” said Jeremy Diamond, chair of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors. “He started as a catcher with the club in 1981 and later managed the team, but he’s best known as an insightful, respected and beloved analyst on the team’s TV broadcasts. Over the past three decades, Buck has taught so many of us so much about the game. We are proud to honour him with this award.”

Born in 1948 in Redding, Calif,, Martinez made his major league debut with the Kansas City Royals in 1969. He was a durable catcher who played 1,049 games in parts of 17 big league seasons with the Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Blue Jays.

But even before his playing career was over, he began broadcasting when he covered the All-Star Game, the American League Championship Series and the World Series for the Telemedia Radio Network in 1982.

His full-time broadcast career began five years later when he was hired to be a colour commentator on TSN’s Blue Jays broadcasts. In 1992, Martinez began working with ESPN Radio and TV and in 1995 he earned a Sports EMMY Award for his work on ESPN’s coverage of Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game.

After leaving the booth to serve as the Blue Jays manager for parts of two seasons in 2001 and 2002, he worked as a TV analyst for the Baltimore Orioles from 2003 to 2009, and won another EMMY, before returning to the Blue Jays TV broadcast crew in 2010. He has now been part of the Sportsnet TV broadcast team for the past 14 seasons.

On top of his work on Blue Jays telecasts, Martinez has also contributed colour commentary for Sunday afternoon games on TBS and participated in the network’s postseason coverage. He has also served as a broadcaster in the last four World Baseball Classics after managing the U.S. team in the first competition.

In recent years, he has also broadcast the All-Star Game and the World Series for MLB International.

Over the course of his career, Martinez has also found time to write three books about his experiences in baseball with the Blue Jays: From Worst to First (1985), The Last Out (1986) and Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better (2016).

In 2020, he became president of the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), an organization that confidentially assists members of the baseball family.

In all, Martinez’s resume in professional baseball boasts 20 years as a player, 41 as a broadcaster and two as a manager.

“I was very surprised and happy to hear from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame that I have been named the 2023 Jack Graney Award winner. There are many great names on the list of past winners, many who I have worked with or alongside for many years. Two names on the list that mean the most to me, giving me a great deal of pleasure to join them are Tom Cheek and Len Bramson. Without their support and direction I would not have had the wonderful career in broadcasting that I have enjoyed!”, said Buck Martinez

Details about the presentation of the 2023 Jack Graney Award will be announced in the coming months.

Past AWARD Winners

2023 – Buck Martinez – Rogers Sportsnet
– Richard Milo – Canadian Press
– John Lott – National Post & The Athletic
– Dan Shulman – Rogers Sportsnet & ESPN
2019 – Ken Fidlin – Toronto Sun
2018 – Jeff Blair – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
2017 – Alison Gordon – Toronto Star
2016 – Larry Millson – Globe and Mail
2015 – Serge Touchette – Montreal Expos
2014 – Richard Griffin – Toronto Star
2013 – Rodger Brulotte – Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays
2012 – Jerry Howarth – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
2011 – W.P. Kinsella “Shoeless Joe” novel adapted to film “Field of Dreams”
2010 – Bob Elliott – Toronto Sun & www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com
2009 – Ian MacDonald – Montreal Gazette
2005 – Len Bramson – TBS Sports
2004 – Jacques Doucet – Montreal Expos
2003 – Allan Simpson – Baseball America
2002 – Ernie Harwell – Detroit Tigers
2001 – Tom Cheek – Sportsnet 590 The FAN
1996 – Dave Van Horne – Montreal Expos
1991 – Joe Chrysdale & Hal Kelly – CKEY
1990 – Austin Dink Carroll – Montreal Gazette
1988 – Milt Dunnell – Toronto Star
1987 – Neil MacCarl – Toronto Star