DETROIT – Friends, colleagues and fans are paying tribute to Fred McLeod, who passed away at the age of 67.
McLeod, who worked as a sportscaster for decades in Detroit, died Monday evening at the age of 67.
McLeod most recently was working as a play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had been with the Cavaliers since 2006.
Before joining the Cavs, McLeod spent 22 seasons as the TV voice of the Detroit Pistons. He also served as the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Tigers for four seasons and the Detroit Lions for seven seasons.
McLeod hosted "Sports Final Edition" on WDIV. He became the Pistons play-by-play announcer in 1984 and held that position until 2006. His 22 years with the Pistons is the longest tenure of a TV-only announcer with the same NBA team, according to the American Entertainment International Speakers Bureau.
"It is with the most extreme sadness that the Cleveland Cavaliers share that Cavs and Fox Sports Ohio play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod died suddenly Monday evening," reads a statement from the Cavaliers. "The entire Cavaliers organization mourns the loss of their great friend and teammate."
Friends, colleagues remember Fred
Heartfelt statements have been pouring out upon the news of McLeod's death:
I am just stunned by the passing of Fred McLeod. He’s been the voice of the Cavaliers, but he was long a member of the WDIV family. Talented, of course, but also funny, charming and so very kind. His marriage to Beth was a true love story. https://t.co/j2p9e0GDIJ— Devin Scillian (@DevinScillian) September 10, 2019
Another great broadcast voice is silenced. What a genuine man & friend. My first true friend in Detroit when I arrived. https://t.co/07jPUXKPkQ— Chuck Gaidica (@chuckgaidica) September 10, 2019
This is just heartbreaking. Fred was a great colleague and a consummate pro. Love to Beth and all the McLeods. May the angels welcome Fred to Heaven. https://t.co/cldjHKLF5R— Anne Thompson (@annenbcnews) September 10, 2019
Man WHAT!!!!??? 😢😢OMG this is extremely sad. @CavsFredMcLeod May you rest in Paradise my friend! @BethHMcLeod my prayers sent up above to you and your family!! 🙏🏾❤️❤️❤️ #RIPFred https://t.co/XWMHUqWJxf— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 10, 2019
I had seen Fred on Friday while getting a tour of RMFH. He was in awe of the intricacies that are going to set this venue apart from any other in the NBA. His passion & love for the game & this team were unmatched. He was always willing & wanting to help make our content the best— Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) September 10, 2019
Statement from the Detroit Lions:
"It is with true sadness that we mourn the passing of Fred McLeod, who we were fortunate to have return as the television voice of Lions preseason football earlier this year. Fred brought an energy to our broadcasts this summer and demonstrated the same passion for our team that he had for Detroit throughout his broadcasting career.
The entire Detroit Lions organization extends its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his wife, Beth, his family and members of the TV broadcast community he helped mentor for more than four decades."
Fred was a terrific broadcaster and a true gentleman. RIP https://t.co/PLl3g12Tcu— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) September 10, 2019
Just crushing news for any of us who have spent time in the @NBA and Detroit sports community. Fred was always gracious, always enthusiastic and a pro’s pro. Just a great guy. Our prayers to Beth and all who were blessed to know him. https://t.co/Ldg1Iw3hj8— MikeTirico (@miketirico) September 10, 2019
Devastating news. Fred McLeod, the Cavs’ incredibly popular play by play man, has died, the team announced. Fred was a terrific man, an incredibly hard worker and a model ambassador for the team. He loved his wife Beth, his kids, golf and the Cavs. He will be missed dearly.— Jason Lloyd (@ByJasonLloyd) September 10, 2019
Sigh. We have lost a great one. Fred McLeod passed away suddenly last night. He was the voice of the Pistons and now the Cavs and last month the voice of the Lions preseason games. He loved his wife Beth and his kids and his work. Life is too short. Rest easy, man. pic.twitter.com/AETXHYSHTF— John Keating (@JohnKeatingFSD) September 10, 2019
I am stunned. Such a great guy. https://t.co/tl5JEPjy2a— Tom Sorrells (@tomsorrells) September 10, 2019
I am absolutely crushed to hear the news of Fred McLeod’s sudden passing. He was THE quintessential sports journalist, and I truly cherish the many years we worked together...that’s a lot of sports conversations (I’m a regular in the Local 4 sports office). R.I.P., my friend.— Paul Gross (@PGLocal4) September 10, 2019
#Cavs play by play man Fred McLeod passed away Monday evening. Such a wonderful friend and supporter for me. Adored by fans. Just awful news.— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) September 10, 2019