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Fred McLeod

Fred McLeod

CAB Legacy Honoree: Fred McLeod

McLeod was born and grew up in Strongsville. During his sophomore year in high school, McLeod and his family moved to the Pittsburgh area, where he finished high school and attended college, graduating from Point Park College where he was a pitcher on the baseball team, reaching the NAIA College World Series.

Fred began his broadcasting career in 1974 as a sportscaster for KQTV in St. Louis and later moved to WSTV in Steubenville, Ohio. In the late 70’s, he returned to Cleveland, when he was hired as the weekend sportscaster at WJKW-TV8. He also was the play-by-play guy for WJKW’s coverage of the Cleveland Indians during the 1979 season. He later moved to KPIX-TV in San Francisco as the sports presenter and also the play-by-play commentator for the Oakland A’s.

In 1982, Fred moved to Detroit as sports guy for WJBK and later with WDIV. In 1984, he became the voice of the Pistons and spent 22 seasons announcing their games before joining the Cavs in 2006. He recently celebrated his 36th season in broadcasting. McLeod also served as a TV announcer for the Tigers.

McLeod spent a few years working in San Francisco and was covering the California-Stanford game when the Golden Bears returned a kickoff on the game's final play, with one of their players weaving through Stanford band members over the final few yards into the end zone.

In 2014, McLeod told that he instructed his cameraman to film the final seconds in case something strange happened. And it did — perhaps one of the most famous plays in college football history.

"Usually, the photographers would break down (equipment) and head down to the locker room," McLeod said. "But I said to the camera guy: 'Let's just shoot it, we have time.' I always had to fight game traffic to get back to the studio, but I always like to live on the edge a little bit anyway, so I said: 'Just continue to shoot because you never know what could happen.'"

Truly, “a wine and gold winner”. RIP, Fred.