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Rays Broadcasters

Broadcasters: Staats | Anderson | Kalas | Freed | Wills | Solondz | Oliu | Taveras
Television
Dewayne Staats
Dewayne Staats

Dewayne anchors the Emmy Award-winning Sun Sports telecast this year, his 37th season broadcasting Major League Baseball and 16th with the Rays. Dewayne has also handled play-by-play for Fox Sports national baseball coverage. He celebrated his 5,000th MLB broadcast in 2010.

Before joining the Rays, he spent three years calling play-by-play for ESPN in a variety of sports, including MLB, NCAA baseball, basketball and football. He began his major league play-by-play career as the radio and TV voice of the Houston Astros from 1977-84, then called radio and TV action for the Chicago Cubs from 1985-89. He was the lead play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees from 1990-94, and spent the 1994-95 seasons calling the action for The Baseball Network (ABC/NBC).

Staats began his career as a sports reporter for WSIE Radio while a student at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and began his baseball career as the radio voice of the Oklahoma City 89ers (1973-74). In 1975-76 he was sports director at KPLR TV in St. Louis and received an Emmy nomination. A 1975 graduate of SIU-Edwardsville, Dewayne earned Distinguished Alumnus of the Year honors in 1987 and was inducted into its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2010. Dewayne was also named a finalist for the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 2012.

He and his wife, Carla, support the Quantum Leap Farm and PACE Center for Girls Charities. He has two daughters, Stephanie Wheeler and Alexandra, and three grandchildren: Gabriel (8), Zachary (5) and Evie (2).


Brian Anderson
Brian Anderson

Brian enters his third season as full-time television color analyst alongside Dewayne Staats on Sun Sports. It will mark his fifth season as part of the Rays broadcast team, after providing analysis for 50 Rays games and co-hosting the Rays Live pregame shows with Todd Kalas in each of his first two seasons.

Prior to joining the broadcast team, Brian served on the major league staff as assistant to the pitching coach where he worked under Jim Hickey from March 2008 through the 2009 season. He also filled in as broadcaster for the Cleveland Indians on Sports Time Ohio and hosted a weekly highlights show while recovering from injury in 2007.

Anderson spent 13 seasons pitching in the Majors (1993-2005) with the Angels, Indians, Diamondbacks and Royals and was a member of the 2001 World Champion Diamondbacks. He was the third overall selection by the Angels in the 1993 June Draft and the following season was named Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year. He was also selected by the D-backs as their first pick in the 1997 Expansion Draft.

Brian resides in St. Petersburg and has two children, Rylyn Mae (8) and Jackson James (6).


Todd Kalas
Todd Kalas

Todd begins his 16th season with the Rays and 21st in the Major Leagues. He will work all 150 telecasts on Sun Sports in his primary role as pre- and postgame host and in-game reporter. He has also filled in every season with play-by-play and color on both the Rays television and radio networks.

He previously worked on the radio broadcast team of the New York Mets (1992-93) and the television broadcast team of the Philadelphia Phillies (1994-96). After graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University in 1988, Todd began his baseball career with the Louisville Redbirds in 1991.

Todd has worked the last 10 offseasons with Cox Sports Television in Louisiana handling play-by-play of college football, basketball and baseball. He is also part of the University of South Florida basketball radio broadcast team and fills in as pregame host for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Todd is the son of the late Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee. He is single and resides in Tampa.

Radio
Andy Freed
Andy Freed

Andy returns to the booth for his ninth season with the Rays broadcast team. He joined the Rays after serving as the voice of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox for four seasons. Freed was also the voice of the Double-A Trenton Thunder (Red Sox) for five seasons (1996-2000).

He began his baseball radio career as a broadcast assistant with the Orioles flagship station WBAL conducting postgame interviews for all home games during the 1990-93 seasons. He began his play-by-play career with the St. Lucie Mets of the Class-A Florida State League in 1994-95. His other play-by-play experience includes college basketball for ESPN Regional (2004-present), Providence College (2003-05) and Rider University (1996-2001). He also broadcast for The College of New Jersey football and Baltimore Spirit soccer. Freed is a graduate of Towson State University (Md.) where he called action for basketball, football and lacrosse during his time at school.

Andy enthusiastically works with the ALS Association. In addition to reciting Lou Gehrig's famous speech at Tropicana Field every year on "ALS Night," he emcees various local events including their annual "Ride to Defeat ALS."

He and his wife, Amy, reside in Parrish, Fla., with their daughter Sarah (10) and twins Casey and Maddie (3).


Dave Wills
Dave Wills

Dave enters his ninth season in the Rays radio booth. He came to the Rays having spent 11 seasons as part of the Chicago White Sox radio broadcast team hosting the pre- and postgame shows and filling in the booth when necessary. His first play-by-play action came with the Class-A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League from 1991-95 where he was the franchise's first radio voice.

Dave was also the radio voice of University of Illinois-Chicago men's basketball from 1997-2005 and has done some television play by play for the Flames during the last few offseasons. He also anchored the pre- and postgame shows for Notre Dame football and basketball and served as co-host of the Kevin White Show while with ESPN Radio 1000-Chicago. From 2000-2005, Dave did television work with Comcast's Sports Weekly high school highlight show.

Dave served as the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator with Elmhurst College (Ill.) in 1989 and as interim head coach at the University of Chicago in 1990. He owns bachelor's degrees in speech communication and urban studies from Elmhurst where he played baseball for three years.

Dave participates in the Hillsborough County Great American Teach In, and every winter, he helps feed the homeless during Joe Maddon's Thanksmas. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have a son, Alex, and a daughter, Michelle. They reside in Lutz.


Neil Solondz
Neil Solondz

Neil begins his second season on the Rays Baseball Network as host of the pre- and postgame shows as well as This Week in Rays Baseball, an hour-long network show.

Before joining the Rays full-time, Neil was the radio voice of the Durham Bulls from 2004-11 and filled in on the Rays pre- and postgame show from 2010-11.

During his tenure with Durham, he broadcast the Triple-A All-Star Game and the Triple-A National Championship game to a nationwide audience.

Prior to his tenure with the Bulls, Solondz broadcast minor league games for the Class-A Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies) and Class-A Quad City River Bandits (Twins). He also has done freelance play-by-play of college football for ESPN3 and has worked for the North Carolina State University, Rutgers University and Delaware State University radio networks.

Solondz attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick. He and his wife, Sari, reside in Palm Harbor with their daughters Emily (6) and Abby (5).

Spanish Radio
Enrique Oliu
Enrique Oliu

Enrique returns for his 15th season as color analyst on the Rays Spanish broadcast. In February 2009, Enrique was inducted into the Florida College Sports Hall of Fame for his impact on the college and in life. He is the subject of the award-winning 2009 documentary Henry O!, filmed by Boston-based Rosemont Productions during the 2007 season.

Born in Nicaragua, Oliu came to the United States at age 10 and attended the St. Augustine School for the Blind. He called his first professional action in 1989 for the Jacksonville Expos and then served as color commentator for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball League. Prior to that, he was the public address announcer for seven years for Florida College baseball in Tampa. He also appeared as a regular contributor on Solamente Pelota ("Only Baseball") on SiriusXM, has hosted his own show on WQBN 1300 AM and has appeared as a guest analyst on USF Spanish broadcasts and on baseball broadcasts and talk shows in Managua, Nicaragua. He has also called action for the Tampa Bay Storm Arena Football League (2003-05) and served as the Spanish voice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002-03.

Oliu owns a communications degree from the University of South Florida. He and his wife, Debbie, reside in St. Petersburg.


Ricardo Taveras
Ricardo Taveras

Ricardo begins his 11th season calling play-by-play on the Rays Spanish broadcast. The Dominican-born Taveras has 27 years of radio experience. He spent two years as a sports commentator in the Dominican Republic and was program director for HIVG 870 AM and HIVP 970 AM there from 1990-92. Following that, he served as assistant program director for WRIV in Providence, R.I., for three years.

He and his wife, Jacqueline, reside in Tampa.

 

 


Broadcasters: Staats | Anderson | Kalas | Freed | Wills | Solondz | Oliu | Taveras