In the year of “shattering glass ceiling,” Fox’s new drama “Pitch” aims to do the same. The main premise of the series is a female breaking into the boy’s club that is Major League Baseball (MLB). Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), is the show’s leading lady and the Padre’s first African-American, female pitcher and wears number 43: “one up from Robinson.”
The pilot opens on Baker’s first day pitching in the Major Leagues and immediately sets up huge suspense. Reporters hail Baker as the most important person in sports, and countless young girls wield posters supporting her. Naturally, being a made-up story, I wasn’t very impressed, assuming Baker was going to be an instant all-star. To my surprise, I was dead wrong. After 10 uncomfortable wild pitches, Baker asks to be removed from the her first game.
This isn’t how you want to see a show that champions progression to begin. Baker acts overly emotional on the mound and is then criticized by reporters for this unprofessional display. When girls are constantly put down for being too emotional, it was a bit unnerving to see a show all about proving the boys wrong and playing on this exact misconception.
The show, however, is not all one big ball game. Through flashbacks, the audience watches as Baker’s father grooms and trains her into the pitcher she becomes. But Ginny’s interactions with her father are hardly easier to watch than her first game. Her dad is tough and relentless; he pushes Ginny and doesn’t accept anything short of perfection. As we flashback to the present, her father–true to form–whips Ginny back into shape for her next game.
I thought the show was intriguing. I wouldn’t say the pilot was an instant hit, but it did have an endearing cast of characters, with good chemistry and quick banter. Also, as a native San Diegan, and someone who loves spending summer at the ballpark, it was a fun treat watching my city on the screen. The show is filmed in Petco Park, and real life sports commentators, Joe Buck and John Smoltz, play themselves as onscreen commentators.
The real reason I will be tuning in next Thursday, is because of the last 10 minute twist that flipped the whole show on its head. I will admit, I gasped. I won’t give it away here, you’ll just have to catch up.