Bruce McDonald, a member of the Seattle Thunderbirds broadcast team for the past 11 seasons and a member of the T-Birds’ “family” since he was 12, died Wednesday morning after batting leukemia since April. He was 41. The club announced McDonald’s death Wednesday afternoon.
“This is a sad day for the Thunderbirds family and our fans,” T-Birds president and general manager Russ Farwell said in statement. “Bruce loved the T-Birds and his dedication to the team rubbed off on every person Bruce came in contact with. We will miss Bruce dearly and offer our sincerest condolences to his family.”
As a youth, McDonald regularly attended Seattle Breakers (T-Birds’ forerunners) games even though he suffered from cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair. According to the Thunderbirds, it was at a Breakers game in 1983 that Bruce was called into the locker room by then-head coach Marc Boileau. Boileau gave Bruce a clipboard and asked him to help the team track and keep statistics. McDonald has been part of the franchise since.
Bruce joined play-by-play voice Chris Collins as part of the Thunderbirds radio broadcast crew for the 1998-99 season. When Collins moved on two years later, McDonald joined Joe Dominey in the broadcast booth. When Dominey moved on a year later, McDonald joined Thom Beuning in the broadcast booth. McDonald and Beuning have called the action on T-Birds broadcasts for the last 11 seasons.
McDonald is survived by his mother Char, sister Nolette Everett, half-brother Stevie McDonald, half-sister Stacy Talley and grandmother Bertha. Memorial services are pending.