Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman Play TBL Bingo

Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman answer our most pressing questions.
Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman
Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman /

Welcome to the first-ever edition of TBL Bingo! Many sports media members live out their professional lives in front of a camera before an audience of millions. This project endeavors to shed light on their personalities, a way for them to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences on matters that wouldn't necessarily come up during their day-to-day. Who are these people who entertain and inform the masses every day on sports they love and cherish? Where did they come from? What makes them tick? Do they prefer hamburgers or hot dogs? And what better way to find all this out than through a Bingo card?

Each TBL Bingo card contains 24 questions. Subjects can answer any they want, but the interview doesn't end until they get Bingo.

TBL Bingo
TBL Bingo /

First up are Tom Verducci and Jon Heyman of MLB Network, a pair of longtime baseball insiders and sports media lifers. Both have been part of MLB Network since its inception in 2009. They boast an bottomless well of knowledge in their roughly 80 combined years of professional experience in baseball, sports media, and life itself. Heyman and Verducci will be prominently featured alongside their MLB Network colleagues during coverage of the MLB Trade Deadline on Tuesday, including a special edition of MLB Tonight that kicks off at 1pm ET and will run through the end of the Deadline.

Both also agreed to be the first subjects of TBL Bingo. Below you'll find their thoughts on great interviews, first cars, must-see TV, and more.

Jon Heyman

Jon Heyman BINGO!
Jon Heyman BINGO! /


QUESTION: Who plays you in a movie?

HEYMAN: Ray Romano? He played a Newsday sportswriter in some show (although I’m told he’s never shown actually working). I was actually a Newsday sportswriter, although I worked while there. Second place: Jack Klugman. 

Q: What was your first car?

HEYMAN:  Green Chevy Impala hand-me-down. Turn signal hung like a tooth ready to be pulled.

Q: Any advice for younger journalists?

HEYMAN: Make connections, cultivate sources, check things twice, avoid Twitter (if you can).

Q: What do you do to relax?

HEYMAN:  I try to keep on the tennis court with my daughter who plays high school tennis and very well. I don’t.

Q: What's your career highlight?

HEYMAN:  Getting the job at Newsday and coming home. Breaking the Barry Bonds to the Giants story (with Tom Verducci) and Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees stories.


Q: LeBron or Jordan?

HEYMAN:  LeBron, because everyone says Jordan like it’s no competition. LeBron is like Willie Mays with better career numbers, Jordan is like Mickey, who was better in the clutch (check the career).

Q: Best pizza topping?

HEYMAN: Pineapple and ham. I know. Controversial, right?

Q: What have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?

HEYMAN: Why didn't you get a nose job?

Q: Who is great to interview or be interviewed by?

HEYMAN: Great to interview: Alex Verdugo. Back when I was a beat guy: Greg Cadaret, Greg Minton. Great interviewer: Michael Kay, Joe Benigno.

Q: What job did you want growing up/what non-media job did you have before?

HEYMAN: Wanted to be a sportswriter. Crazy, huh? Made garlic bread at Al Steiner’s (Cedarhurst, NY). Was bad at it. Usually burned the bread. Sorry Al. 

Tom Verducci

Tom Verducci BINGO!
Tom Verducci BINGO! /


QUESTION: What's your career highlight?

VERDUCCI: Making my own path. Only person to win Emmys as analyst, reporter and writer; only person to  win Emmy as analyst who was not a former player; only writer to be in World Series broadcast booth; only writer featured on SI cover. Induction into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame was way cool.

Q: Who is great to interview or be interviewed by?

VERDUCCI:  Pedro Martinez, Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Corbin Burnes, A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora, Theo Epstein, Derek Jeter. The best interviews are not just about colorful quotes but when you can walk away having learned something.

STAR: What have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?

VERDUCCI: “Tell me about your high school state championship football game …"

Q: What or who is underrated?

VERDUCCI: A ballpark without music cranked for pregame work. Sitting in the stands at Fenway when you can hear the crack of the bat and gloves popping is awesome - and rare these days.

Q: Who in sports or sports media is must-see TV?

VERDUCCI:  Shohei Ohtani, because we have never seen anything like him in our lifetimes and never will.


Q: LeBron or Jordan?

VERDUCCI: Jordan. His side gig in baseball was amazing - better than people think.

Q: Any advice for younger journalists?

VERDUCCI: Read as much as you can, and not just about the sports you cover. Expand your mind and challenge yourself to be a better citizen of the world.

Q: What job did you want growing up/what non-media job did you have before?

VERDUCCI: Writing was all I ever wanted to do. To pay my way through college, I worked as a janitor at the Meadowlands racetrack and as a short-order cook at a restaurant.

Q: Who's the funniest person/a funny person in media?

VERDUCCI: Harold Reynolds. He’s not a jokester per se, but just a joy to be around because he has so much fun doing what he does.

Q: What's been your biggest mistake?

VERDUCCI: Misplayed a pop-up in right field in the last Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown while playing for the Blue Jays.