Rays announce Neil Solondz officially joins the Rays Radio Network as play-by-play announcer

March 16th, 2023

The Tampa Bay Rays have promoted Neil Solondz to play-by-play broadcaster for the Rays Radio Network ahead of the team’s 25th anniversary season. Solondz will join long-time announcer Andy Freed in the booth full-time. Solondz replaces Dave Wills, who worked alongside Freed for 18 seasons and passed away on March 5, 2023, at age 58.

“Dave left an indelible mark on our organization and the community as a whole,” said Rays Principal Owner Stu Sternberg. “We all enjoyed the special camaraderie he shared with Andy and Neil. We are fortunate to have an excellent team of broadcasters who will continue the high-caliber coverage that our fans deserve. We’re excited for Neil to bring his expertise and talent to the broadcast.”

Solondz served as the pre- and postgame host and producer of This Week in Rays Baseball since 2012. He launched the 25th Anniversary podcast this year and was the fill-in play-by-play voice over the past 11 seasons. He started his radio career broadcasting minor league games for the affiliates with the Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins, and served as the radio voice of the Triple-A Durham Bulls from 2004-11. Solondz was also part of the TV broadcast for the Olympic baseball qualifier Premier12 in South Korea. In 2021, he was awarded the Rays Joyce Smith Community Spirit Award, which annually recognizes one employee who makes significant societal contributions beyond their professional responsibilities.

Solondz says he is honored to have the opportunity to build on the foundation that Wills and Freed built nearly two decades ago. “Dave and Andy have built an incredible tradition with Tampa Bay Rays fans on air and in the community,” said Solondz. “I’m humbled and honored to join Andy in the booth. While no one can ever replace Dave, the best way to honor his legacy is to continue to share the game with the fans who love it as much as we do.”

“Since 2012 when Neil joined Dave and I with Rays Radio, he has been a big part of what we do,” Freed said. “His advancement to the play-by-play booth creates a natural and seamless transition. It allows us to carry forward our tradition of providing entertaining Rays baseball broadcasts that connect with our fans.”

Solondz and Freed honored Wills during a special tribute on the Rays Radio Network.