FOX’s new Thursday night show, Pitch, about a young woman, Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), who becomes the first woman to pitch for a major league baseball team is groundbreaking television. Ginny Baker earns a winning spot on the San Diego Padres because of her vicious screw ball that her father, Bill Baker played by Michael Beach, helped her perfect.
While watching the first few minutes of the show an overwhelming joy came over me. Looking at the beauty of Bunbury on that screen and her strength in the opening scenes, how focused she appeared while heading to her first professional baseball game made me a bit emotional. As a young woman of color this is historical. I can actually see someone that looks like me playing a role that breaks standards. Of course there has been a lot of record breaking shows within the past few years with Empire, Scandal, Queen Sugar and more but to see a fictional female character of color breaking barriers in sports is inspiring.
With the pressure mounting from millions of viewers, thousands of little girls admiring Ginny, and the need to make her family and team mates proud Ginny unfortunately caves to the pressure during her first game. Deciding to leave the game after several high throws and balls hitting the dirt Ginny feels ultimately defeated, and questions her purpose in the league taking it out on her father. Instead of it being the typical father-son sports duo Ginny took her brothers’ position becoming the perfectly sculpted star player her father dreamed of having. The father -daughter relationship in the show is typical of a sports dad being extremely hard and strict on his kid, especially one like Ginny who becomes an elite player in a male dominated sport.
Aspects of the show that I enjoyed the most would definitely be the realness of the sport. I am not a baseball fan but while watching episode one Ginny’s journey on the field and in the locker room felt authentic. Pitch is surely a sports show that will probably grow an audience base from the off field drama later in the season. Hopefully true baseball fans will connect to Ginny’s story off the field. I am not sure but the show is definitely aesthetically pleasing where Pitch has the pleasure of actually partnering with the MLB helping to make the show look even more authentic.
Another highlight of the show was Bunbury’s acting and the vulnerability and strength she presented from her breakdown on the filed, to her dealing with jealous teammates and doubtful coaches. Pitch showed the true rawness of emotions any women would feel in that position. Ginny’s debut was nothing easy she struggled her first and second game until team captain, Mike Lawson (Saved by the Bell‘s Mark-Paul Gosselaar), finally decides to help and gives Ginny a game time pep talk. “You have a lot of people telling you who you are doing this for except you. You cant please everyone.” said Mike. The pep talk obviously worked because Ginny killed the other team with her perfected screw ball pitch getting five strike outs and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Now you finally think Ginny’s father, Bill, would be proud and happy for his daughter, that they finally accomplished their dream but wrong. A shocker within the last few minutes of the episode hits you and you realize Bill is actually dead! There were several flashbacks throughout the episode showing Ginny’s journey to the MLB and how her father pushed her with late night practices to perfect her throw. One flash back goes to the night she was recruited by the San Diego Padres after winning the state championship game. Ginny and Bill are driving home only to get into a fatal car accident that throws her father out of the car killing him. Now any time she sees her father it is only a figment of her imagination, but a much needed push for her to stay focused and grind, Bill said it himself “We ain’t done nothing yet.”
Overall Pitch is a show I will be keeping up with, especially to see what happens later in the season I am sure there will be more drama, locker room fights, and some romance for Ginny I am sure it is coming! Pitch airs Thursdays at 9pm ET on Fox!
#WhatsTheReel! Let us know what you think about this new sports show and if you are excited to see more groundbreaking television.