On Sunday morning, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that Dave Wills, one of the radio voices for the team, passed away at the age of 58.
Wills had been in the Rays radio booth since 2005 and called Saturday’s game against the Yankees with longtime radio partner Andrew Freed.
“Yesterday was like every other day for the last 18 years. Sharing. Laughs. Baseball. Fun. No way to know it was the last time. Sadness beyond words today,” Freed wrote on Twitter with a photo of the two in the booth. “It always felt like we were actual brothers. Will miss him forever. Love to him and his family.”
“Shocking, sad, heartbreaking covers all of it,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash, who visited Wills’ family Sunday before returning for the game. “You have a choice to certainly think about the sadness of it, but you can also think about the person that he was and what he meant to all of us.”
“Dave was an outstanding broadcaster, a great friend and an even better person,” Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. “He had a remarkable talent for bringing the game to life for our fans and was a vital part of the Rays family. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Wills missed the last two weeks of the 2022 season, due to “a little bit of a heart situation” and was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia, a type of arrhythmia, after being hospitalized in Toronto. However, Wills was back in the booth for the Rays’ wild card series against the Guardians.
The outlet added that Wills “looked to be in good health and spirits” while calling games during spring training.
Wills hailed from Chicago, and was a part of the radio team for the White Sox for 11 years before coming to the Rays. The team canceled their radio broadcast of Sunday’s game against the Orioles in his honor.
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