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RIP Dave Wills

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  • RIP Dave Wills

    Some of us may recall that Wills grew up in suburban Chicago, and hosted the Sox pregame and postgame shows and occasionally filled in on the radio.
    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Dave Wills, who served as the team’s radio announcer for the past 18 years. Wills passed away on March 5, 2023, at the age of 58. During his time with the Rays, Wills became a beloved

  • #2
    Very sad to hear. RIP to a true South Sider.


    • #3
      This really saddens me. I met him a couple times. Once at a Sox Fans On Deck meeting and at that meeting was suppose to be Bill Melton accompanying him. Unfortunately Bill couldn’t make it that night. I brought a nice color photo of Bill to the meeting to get it signed. Dave Wills asked me if I’d like it autographed and he said he’d do it for me.

      He then said he’d mail it to me when he got it. When I gave him my work address (my preferred place to have valuables mailed to) he did a double take at the address and he said you’re not gonna believe this but my wife works right across the parking lot from you. Then he said I’ll drop it off to you when I can.

      About a week later my phone rang and it was Dave Wills on the other end and he was in the parking lot with an autographed picture of Bill Melton. And he goes, I was in the neighborhood to meet up with his wife for lunch so he hand delivered it to me. I thanked him a bunch and told him what a nice guy he was and what a super gesture he made. I’m still smiling when I think about it. I cherish that photo even more now.

      The other time I met him was when A bar in Oak Lawn hosted his farewell party when he announced he was leaving for Tampa Bay. And he remembered me from the Bill Melton autograph picture and parking lot drop off.

      RIP Dave Wills. 58 is far too young to be taken. 😢


      • #4
        He was a very col guy who actually posted a few times at the old site. Sorry to read this.
        Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...


        • #5
          Another day, another death in the White Sox family.

          This morning former Sox broadcaster Dave Wills was found dead at the age of 58. He just broadcast a spring game Saturday for the Rays where he was working after he left the White Sox. It is believed to be a heart issue.

          Dave was the longtime pre and postgame host for the Sox and occasionally filled in on the broadcasts as play by play man.

          He was from the Chicago area, played at Elmhurst College where he pitched and later coached both there and at the University of Chicago.

          He started doing baseball play by play for the Kane County Cougars in1991 and also worked for WMAQ and WMVP radio. He also did UIC Flames basketball and area high school games.

          The guy was a passionate White Sox fan and I know he would have dearly loved the chance to become a regular member of the Sox team instead of just filling in for John Rooney but it just never happened.

          I knew Dave well and he told me there were members of the Sox front office in his corner, pushing for him to get the broadcasting job when Rooney left but, again according to him, JR (Jerry Reinsdorf) would never say 'yes' and he got tired of waiting.

          The Rays opportunity presented itself and he naturally took it but his heart never really left the South Side.

          Dave was always willing to spend time talking with me and offering advice, he will be missed.

          Thinking of his family at this time and wishing them all the best.


          • #6
            Thanks, Mark. I just learned about Dave Wills' passing and came here to find out more. I remember well when John Rooney left for St. Louis and Ed Farmer was given the radio play-by-play job. There was a noisy and unanimous thread on WSI lamenting that Dave didn't get the job and was offered and accepted the gig in Tampa. He was a Broadcaster: knowledgeable, enthusiastic, listenable -- all the things you'd want to call a ballgame on the radio. And he was clearly a White Sox fan.

            R.I.P. Dave. We still miss you.
            - tebman


            • #7
              Way way too young.
              Nellie had more doubles than strikeouts every year from 1950 to 1963, and more triples (12) than strikeouts (11) in 1951 (682 plate appearances.)


              • #8
                Dave was great. Knew the game so well. Back in the day, he was quite adept at fielding cranky callers.


                • #9
                  Shocking. Way to young. RIP, Dave and condolences to his family and all who loved him.

                  2023 In-Person Record: 7-9
                  All-time Sox Attendance Tracker: 317-268
                  Posts on old WSI: 7344


                  • #10
                    Very good announcer, sometimes when I watched Ray's games and needed a change from Staats and Brian Anderson I'd switch over to listen to Dave on the local Ray's radio outlet here in Charlotte county. Yes, 58 is way too young, may he rest in peace.
                    Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.


                    • #11
                      Got an e-mail from Nancy Faust, she sent me a text Dave sent her Thursday night after watching part I of the "Last Comiskey" documentary and how much he enjoyed it. Happy he at least got to see the first part.


                      • #12

                        "White Sox Baseball is neeeeeeexxxxxxxt"

                        Sigh. Found myself on an elevator with him once while he was still with the Sox crew. I told him who I was here (he was a WSIer, Bump34, who posted a lot) and mentioned things weren't looking good for our friends on the North Side "this season" (it was a mid-season encounter). He smiled and said he wasn't going to comment on them.

                        Another time he rung up my purchase at Grandstand where he often hopped behind the counter to help out during busy periods.

                        Big loss.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dumpjerry

                          "White Sox Baseball is neeeeeeexxxxxxxt"
                          That saying and his voice have been in my head for 20 years. RIP man, loved listening to Dave....


                          • #14
                            It’s a shame he was blocked here by harrelson and farmer. I always assumed farmer wanted the play by play after Rooney left. I actually enjoyed listening to pre and post with wills and then came Rongey.

                            Anyone that passes before tasting retirement is way too young.
                            Last edited by Noneck; 03-05-2023, 03:52 PM.


                            • #15
                              Very sad news. Heart breaks for his family and close ones.

                              Dave will always be one of us.