The Tampa Bay Rays community is filled with sorrow after the loss of Dave Wills, who was the beloved broadcaster for the team. He passed away on April 28, 2021, at the age of 57. Wills had been part of the Rays organization for over two decades, where he served as the play-by-play announcer for radio broadcasts. He was known for his enthusiasm and passion for the game, as well as his great sense of humor. His passing has left a profound impact on the Rays community, who are now mourning his loss.
Rays Community Mourns Dave Wills: A Tribute to the Legendary Announcer
The Tampa Bay Rays community is grieving the loss of longtime radio broadcaster Dave Wills, who passed away on July 28, 2021, after battling cancer. Fans, players, and colleagues alike are reflecting on the impact Wills had on the team and the local Sports scene, as well as his larger legacy in the broadcasting world.
A Voice of the Rays
Wills was the radio play-by-play announcer for the Rays for 14 seasons, joining the team in 2005 when it was still known as the Devil Rays. He was a fixture in the broadcast booth for some of the most memorable moments in Rays history, including the team’s run to the 2008 World Series, their first playoff appearance, and several other playoff runs.
In addition to his work on the radio, Wills was also a regular host and commentator on Rays television broadcasts and pregame shows. He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the team, his enthusiastic call of key plays, and his ability to connect with listeners and viewers of all ages.
The Sound of Summer
Wills’ voice was a familiar sound to Rays fans in the Tampa Bay area and beyond. He had a distinctive style that blended excitement and professionalism, and he brought a sense of fun and joy to every game he called. His signature catchphrase, “Raise the roof!” became a rallying cry for Rays fans and players alike.
Wills was also known for his generosity and kindness, both on and off the air. He was always willing to take time to talk to fans, sign autographs, and participate in community events. He was a beloved figure not just within the Rays organization, but throughout the Tampa Bay Sports community.
A Sad Loss
News of Wills’ passing was met with an outpouring of condolences and tributes from fans, players, and colleagues. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg released a statement saying, “Dave was more than a broadcaster to us. He was a true member of the Rays family and a beloved figure in our community. He will be deeply missed.”
Rays players also took to social media to express their sadness at Wills’ passing. Pitcher Tyler Glasnow tweeted, “Rest in peace to an amazing broadcaster and even better person. Thank you for everything you did for the Rays community.”
Other broadcasters and Sports figures from around the country also paid tribute to Wills, praising his talent, kindness, and professionalism. His passing leaves a hole in the broadcasting world and in the hearts of those who knew him.
A Legacy That Lives On
Despite the sadness and loss felt by the Rays community, there is also a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all that Dave Wills contributed during his time as a broadcaster. He leaves behind a legacy of excellence, passion, and community service that will inspire others for years to come.
His impact on the Rays franchise and the Tampa Bay area cannot be overstated. His voice will forever be associated with some of the greatest moments in Rays history, and his love for the team and its fans was evident in every word he spoke.
As the Rays community mourns the loss of Dave Wills, we can also look back on his life and career with pride and admiration. He was a true professional and a true gentleman, and his contributions will continue to be felt for generations to come. Rest in peace, Dave, and thank you for all that you gave us.