Longtime sportscaster, Cavs announcer, Fred McLeod dies at 67

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Longtime sportscaster and play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Fred McLeod, has died.

The cause of death has not yet been released.

The Cavaliers report McLeod died suddenly Monday evening.

McLeod was 67-years-old.

This is news that touches all of our hearts here at FOX 8 because not only did McLeod work here at WJW, but he was also the husband of our co-worker and dear friend, Meteorologist Beth McLeod.

The Cavs released a statement Tuesday. It says in part:

"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. The entire Cavaliers organization mourns the loss of their great friend and teammate. 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."

FOX Sports Ohio released the following statement:

"Fred was among the NBA’s most respected play-by-play voices and an incredible ambassador for both the Cleveland Cavaliers and FOX Sports Ohio. His smooth delivery and passion for both NBA Basketball and particularly the Cavaliers, created an unforgettable soundtrack to some of the most iconic moments in Cleveland sports history. Off the air, he was a friend and trusted teammate. He will be greatly missed, and we send our heart-felt sympathies to his wife, Beth, and his entire family. "

McLeod grew up in Strongsville where he was a two-sport star.

He played both baseball and basketball.

He began his broadcasting career in 1974, working in Missouri and Steubenville, Ohio before getting a job here at WJKW-TV 8 in the 1970s as a weekend sports anchor.

At the time he did the play-by-play commentary for our coverage of the Cleveland Indians games during the 1979 season.

After WJW, McLeod spent time working in San Francisco and then eventually became the announcer for the Detroit Pistons, a position he held until he came home to Cleveland.

The Pistons tweeted their condolences:

In 2006, McLeod become the play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside former Cavalier, Austin Carr. While calling the action for his hometown team, he has since coined many signature calls like “Right down Euclid!”

To add to his impressive resume, just this summer, McLeod became the new play-by-play voice for the Detroit Lions preseason games.

In an interview with NBA.com, Fred says his goal for each broadcast was to make people smile or laugh. One thing is for sure, everyone here at FOX 8 smiled when Fred was on our TVs.

We here at WJW send our deepest condolences to Fred’s family, including his wife, Beth, and his three children.

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