Will a woman ever pitch in Major League Baseball? Well, one will on television. FOX’s Pitch, which premieres on Thursday, Sept. 22, tells the story of Ginny Baker, the first female MLB pitcher. Her screwball is what lands her firmly on the San Diego Padres. There’s drama, of course, but for the most part, the baseball stuff seems pretty real (it helps that the MLB is affiliated with the show), which seems to be thanks to the fact that the real San Diego Padres have partnered with Pitch.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pitch partnered with the MLB and the Padres so that the show can use real teams, uniforms, stadiums, and more, and also get help from real experts to make sure that the sport is portrayed realistically. I think real baseball fans will appreciate of the effort being put into the series to make sure that it's as authentic as possible. But after teaming up with the whole League, why did Pitch choose to put Ginny on the Padres? Executive producer Dan Fogelman told The Hollywood Reporter, “The team felt like a team that would be friendly toward us and they've been incredible thus far. MLB had suggested numerous teams and the Padres was one that we thought would be really excited to have us and a good partnership for us… We needed a team that would be open to having that presence there.” It was nice of the Padres to hook up with Pitch, and maybe it will even gain them some more fans in the process.
With the premiere approaching, the Padres have even been promoting Pitch by running a contest for fans to win a baseball signed by the cast and hosting a screening of the pilot in the team's stadium, Petco Park, after a game. Appropriately enough, FOX's San Diego affiliate reported that the team was encouraging fans to bring their daughters to watch the premiere.
And though Ginny will play for the Padres, that doesn't mean those are the only players you're likely to see on the series. Fogelman told The Hollywood Reporter, “Nothing would make me happier than Ginny facing Mike Trout [of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim] down the road in an episode.” It would be interesting to see real and fictional MLB players on coming together in a sort of bizarro world of baseball.
Here’s what I think will happen — it will be a situation kind of like The League. It was this little show that was obsessed with football, and then when it got popular, all of the players wanted to be on it and poke fun at themselves. As Pitch grows in popularity, other players will be clamoring to guest star, and it might start happening soon, since Pitch is already backed by the MLB.
Personally, I can’t wait for this show. As a female baseball fan, it’s not so foreign to me to think that a woman could play baseball. I hope that sometime over the course of its run, Pitch will feature a guest appearance from a real female MLB player who's just as talented as Ginny.
Images: Ray Mickshaw/FOX; Giphy