Longtime Tribe broadcaster Tait passes away

March 11th, 2021

Legendary Cleveland sports broadcaster Joe Tait passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 after a long battle with kidney disease and liver cancer.

While he was predominantly known as the voice of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers for 41 years with his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Tait also spent 15 years across the street in the Indians' radio and television booths.

“On behalf of the entire Indians organization, our players past and present, and our fans everywhere, we share our deepest sympathies on the passing of Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Tait,” the Indians said in a statement. “Joe entertained Tribe fans for 15 seasons, beginning in 1973 when he joined Tribe legend Herb Score in the Indians' radio booth. He then switched to the Tribe’s TV booth in 1980 where he remained until the 1987 season.”

His voice will forever live on in Indians’ history as he called one of the two perfect games in Indians history. On May 15, 1981, Tait exclaimed, “Fly ball, center field, Manning is there. Got it! A perfect game for Lenny Barker!” as Rick Manning leaped in excitement in center after securing the final out in Barker’s perfect game.

To honor his passing, the Indians posted a video on Twitter of two of his favorite calls, including the final out of Barker’s perfect game. Current radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton opened the seventh inning of the Indians' game against the Angels on Wednesday by paying tribute to Tait.

“His most memorable moments include calling no-hitters by Dick Bosman (’74) and Dennis Eckersley (’77) and the perfect game by Len Barker in May of 1981,” the Tribe’s statement continued. “Joe would joke that one of his greatest calls was Duane Kuiper’s only home run in August of 1977, Kuiper being one of Joe’s all-time favorite players.

“Thank you, Joe, for the decades of joy you have brought Cleveland sports fans.”