Front Row is continuing its MLB on ESPN Spotlight series this week with a special look at Fernando Lopez, Baseball Tonight coordinating producer. Fernando is one of the several employees working behind-the-scenes on ESPN’s Major League Baseball property. Fernando explains his ESPN MLB job, his favorite moments at work, and offers high praise for his colleagues.
How would you describe your ESPN MLB job?
I act as a conduit of information between Baseball Tonight, ESPN as a whole and Major League Baseball. I plan, staff (talent and production), and oversee over 350 shows a season. Of these, at least 40 are done remotely, on location from the biggest baseball events in the country.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Where else would I be able to watch games and talk about baseball for a living? And, have the pleasure of working with so many amazing people? When you see the final product that comes out over the air every day and how it affects people – it’s magic. That is the most rewarding part of the job.
What’s your best moment/memory at work?
There have been so many memorable moments, from the last day of the 2011 season, to watching Mike Trout become one of the league’s best players, to the emergence of the next generation of stars (Altuve, Correa, Bryant, McCutchen, Kershaw). Even with all that, there is one moment that stands out among the rest. The one image that sticks in my mind the most is at this year’s Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, when our entire team, as well as MLB and the other broadcasters had to take cover in a tunnel at Great American Ballpark.
At that moment, with tornado warnings, crazy winds, rain coming down in buckets, every single person was on an equal level thinking the exact same thing, “Is this event going to happen tonight?” It ended up being a beautiful night and a great event with the perfect ending – a hometown hero winning the Derby.
Another special memory for me was this year’s Little League World Series. We brought Baseball Tonight there for a week. It was amazing to see baseball in its purest form. It’s an event that everyone should have on their bucket list.
Who’s your MLB team?
The Angels – I lived close by the stadium for several years. I like what the owner, Arty Moreno, has done with the team. And now they have two of my favorite players – Albert Pujols and Mike Trout.
EDITOR’S NOTE: ESPN celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15). Tonight during the Cubs-Pirates telecast (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET), ESPN will celebrate the legendary career of Hall of Famer and former Pirates star Roberto Clemente.