Friday, December 16, 2011

Have voice. Will travel.

This is an unusual player move...

Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Solondz has been called up...added to the Rays' radio roster for the 2012 season.

This is a big loss for the Bulls, but we are delighted for Neil as he takes a big step toward his career goal.

In addition to his radio/tv work for the Bulls, Neil has been our top account executive. It will probably take two people to replace him! Neil is conscientious, meticulous, hard-working, dedicated to improving his skills...a consummate professional...and a darned good broadcaster.

This is a great tech-oriented company and a great brand to be involved with, and I'm very appreciative that they'll never stand in the way of an opportunity.

That's a quote from Neil in a prescient story that ran two weeks ago on the MiLB website. Click here for Benjamin Hill's article on the the Major League aspirations of Minor League broadcasters.

Here's the Rays' Friday news release:

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays announced today that Neil Solondz (SO-lahnz) has been named the team’s new pre- and postgame radio host.

Solondz has been with Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, since 2004 and for the last two seasons has filled in on the Rays pre- and postgame show. During his tenure with Durham, Solondz broadcast the Triple-A All-Star Game and the Triple-A National Championship game to a nationwide audience. Over the last two seasons, he did play-by-play for 11 games that aired on MLB Network.

“I’m thrilled the Rays are giving me such a great opportunity,” said Solondz. “I’ve certainly enjoyed the past eight years with the Bulls a great deal, and I’m excited about the chance to join the tremendous broadcast team of Andy Freed and Dave Wills.”

“Neil will be a great addition to our radio team,” said Rays Senior Vice President Mark Fernandez. “Not only is he an accomplished broadcaster, his tenure as the voice of the Durham Bulls will allow him to offer Rays fans unique and in-depth commentary throughout the season.”

“Neil has been an invaluable member of the Bulls staff for the past eight years as both a salesperson and more notably as our play-by-play announcer,” said Bulls General Manager Mike Birling. “Many of his radio calls will forever be part of our rich history.”

In addition to the pre- and postgame show, Solondz will contribute to the “This Week in Rays Baseball” radio show during the regular season and will host Rays Watch Parties and community appearances throughout the year.

Prior to his tenure with the Bulls, Solondz broadcast minor league games for the Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) and Quad City River Bandits (Minnesota 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.

66 Days Until Pitchers & Catchers Report to Spring Training


For more information please contact the Rays Communications Dept., (727) 825-3242.

The Tampa Bay Rays have proudly represented Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region since 1998. The organization and its foundation are committed to building a strong community bond through meaningful interaction and charitable contributions.