For the sixth year in a row, MLB Network's Coordinating Producer and New Jersey resident Jed Tuminaro has directed the official MLB World Series film. "2020 World Series Champions: LA Dodgers" featured a dramatic Dodgers victory over the Tampa Bay Rays during the coronavirus pandemic.
From his home in Chatham, NJ, Tuminaro joined SportsJam host Doug Doyle for a zoom chat about the challenges of covering the World Series during an unprecedented season.
"Going into it, no one knew what to expect because it's such new territory. We were certainly a little bit concerned or wary that we weren't going to be getting, some of the things we normally get in a typical year. Maybe that's off the field access and ride-alongs to the park with players, sometimes we've done stuff in players' home the night before games, things like that we knew were going to be restricted. But at the same time, we saw immediately was how much less of a media presence there was, which was understandable. So in certain ways, we felt like we got a more intimate look at certain things. You'll see in the film it wasn't clubhouse access that we've been used to for years and years and years. So there were a lot of things like press conferences and things like that where we were the only cameras in the room."
The award-winning and humble Tuminaro quickly praised his staff when asked why he has been Major League Baseball's choice to direct "The Official" World Series film once again.
"We have great camera crews that have been documenting these World Series for years long before I can along to do this. Same thing with editors, so I think it's more of our team. We know how to do it. We're around it all year long."
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully came out of retirement to narrate the film of the team he called for so many years. Beloved by Dodgers and baseball fans around the world, the legendary Scully provided the perfect touch to the words written by Aaron Cohen (former SportsJam guest) for the film.
"It was a real thrill. We've been fortunate to have some really good voices for these films but this was like such a treat and for me, and I'm personally speaking, it was really really easy because you have the voice of Vin Scully, you have the writing of Aaron Cohen, I can't do anything to get in the way of that, just let them do their thing. Scully was great. I can't think of such a scenario where you could have such a voice that was there for every one of the team's (Dodgers) championships. You have to have a combination of incredible longevity and to be great at your craft and that's a rare combination to have."
After graduation from State University of New York College at Cortland, Tuminaro worked at ESPN as a producer and then landed a position at MLB Productions. He joined MLB Network in 2008. The first World Series film he directed was the battle between the Mets and the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Tuminaro says he's a life-long Yankees fan who has two sons, 10 and 13, who enjoy baseball too.
"I think maybe I just had a very pretty accurate self-awareness assessment when I was younger. Like I loved playing all recreational sports, just lived it, playing out in the streets with my friends and Little League like most kids do, but whereas most kids, their dream was to be a Major League Baseball player until a certain age, I think I knew early on. I would watch guys like Bob Costas or Al Michaels and think that's where I wanted to go, to be a broadcaster. And then even as I got into school and into production, I sort of then went into the behind the scenes production route. I knew I always wanted to be in sports."
A "Collector's Edition" of the 2020 World Series video will be available in February and contain full games of the showdown that will forever be remembered for the unsual ending in Game 4 where the Tampa Bay Rays tied the series with a dramatic 8-7 victory. The Dodgers would bounce back from that emotional loss and go on to win the next two games to claim the championship.
You can see the entire zoom interview with Jed Tuminaro here.
Click at the top of this page to hear the rest of the conversation with Tuminaro.