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Cleveland Cavaliers Announce Death Of Play-By-Play Man Fred McLeod

Cavaliers play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod. [cavs.com]
Fred McLeod

Cleveland Cavaliers TV play-by-play broadcaster Fred McLeod passed away Monday night, according to a statement from the team Tuesday.

He was 67 years old. No cause of death has been released.

"The entire Cavaliers organization mourns the loss of their great friend and teammate," the Cavaliers statement said. "Fred’s deep love for Cleveland and the Cavaliers was clearly evident in everything he did in and around the community and on-air during his more than 1,000 Cavalier game broadcasts. He was a true, heart-felt ambassador for the team, fans and entire greater Cleveland community."

“Fred McLeod was truly a one-of-a-kind person and friend," said Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his family in a statement. "Words cannot express our feelings as we think about the many special memories we have of Fred and a relationship that spans four decades. We will miss him tremendously.

Fred was not only a great broadcaster and communicator that informed, explained and entertained, but he passionately embodied the Cavaliers ‘All for One. One for All.’ DNA in every aspect of his life." 

McLeod was 14 seasons into his second stint as a Cavs' broadcaster, having served in the same role in the 1979-1980 season. McLeod returned to the franchise in 2006 after 22 seasons announcing Detroit Pistons games.

"He had the gift of connecting with everyone he interacted with and leaving them feeling happier, stronger, more positive, and valued," the Gilbert family said. "Fred has left an impactful, lasting legacy in Cleveland, Detroit and beyond."

He was prominently featured on many Cavs-related broadcasts on the team website and social media outlets as the Cavaliers' executive producer of multimedia.

"Fred was a multiple regional Emmy Award winner as part of the Fox Sports Ohio Cavs broadcast crew, along with his beloved game broadcast partner Austin Carr. He was also a proud recipient of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Silver Circle Award in recognition of lifetime achievement in television," the release said.

Born in Strongsville in 1952, he played both basketball and baseball in high school. McLeod was a graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, where he played baseball and pitched in the NAIA College World Series. After working in Missouri and Steubenville, Ohio he became the weekend sports anchor at WJKW-TV 8 in the 1970s, where he also did the play-by-play commentary for Cleveland Indians games during the 1979 season.

"The Cavaliers extend our deepest condolences to Fred’s entire family, including his wife Beth, mother Marilyn, sister Lynn, and his three children, Sean, Jenna, Molly and each of their families," the release said.

His wife, Beth, is also a local broadcaster, currently a meteorologist at WJW Fox 8. She previously served in the same role at WOIO.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.