Pitch-TV Show

Not enough people watched this show and I doubt it is going to get a second season. Pity. It was really good. And it was something new and interesting in sea of cop shows, medical procedurals, and nighttime soaps like Scandal. When a show like this doesn't get a big enough audience I want to scream "Ugh! THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS." But I'm grateful for the 10 episodes we got and am keeping my fingers crossed for more.

The premise of the show is that Ginny Baker is the first woman to play in the Major leagues. The show starts on the day of her first start after being called up. It flashes back to how her father turned her into the talent that can make history. Several episodes deal with unique problems that a woman would have playing in an all male league, but overall the show is just good baseball and good TV.

  • They make it clear right off that she would be good enough to make it to the majors even if she were a man. Her fastball tops out in the high 80's, but she's got a great screwball and she knows where to put it. So she isn't a gimmick or a publicity stunt.
  • Major League Baseball partnered with the producers and the show was given unprecedented access to ballparks and other resources lending the show an impressive authenticity.
  • The star of the show Kylie Bunbury is credible as an athlete and although she is model gorgeous, this is television after all, when she's on the mound they don't put a bunch of makeup and glamour on her. She is obviously a very slender woman but not skinny. They show her working out and she is clearly an athletic woman. But...She is a little small. Although she is also a pitcher which is the one position a really skinny man can thrive at. So I guess a skinny woman could too. I can concede that but still think the character of Ginny Baker should look a bit more like Serena Williams. 
  • Sabermetrics and other analytics get a wonderful amount of screen time. We number nerds watching were giddy. 
  • A woman's different physiology only gets mentioned once and it is at the perfect time, when it is pointing out an advantage, our more elastic ligaments. 
  • Mark-Paul Gosslear is the world weary but wise sage of a catcher that we love from every baseball movie. 
  • She plays for the San Diego Padres. Which was the perfect team to choose. The Padres have an interesting history. They often have the talent but they just can't put enough wins together. So it is realistic to see her bring so much attention to the team and then have them lose in front of sell out crowds. It's also good writing that when they lose it is rarely directly her responsibility.
  • If the show has a weak point it is that it has too many romantic plotlines. If ever there was a woman who was too busy to date it would be the first woman in the MLB with her professional and promotional obligations. No matter how many times Ginny Baker says she doesn't need a man, the show keeps trying to give her one. 

A majority of my baseball research is directed towards women who have played professional baseball in some capacity or affected the game in a significant way. And I have always argued that the first sport that women will compete against men in will be baseball. Women don't currently grow muscles big enough for football or hockey. And although some women are tall enough for the NBA the way the game is coached and played in high school and college and even in the WNBA keeps women from developing the game necessary to join the gents. But a baseball player only needs to be 5'9 and about 175 to be effective. That's a pretty reasonable size for a woman. And as far as the ability to swing a bat there are women like the aforementioned Serena Williams that could've grown up learning how to hit home runs. We funnel females into softball and away from baseball in junior high. If we don't. If we let girls play. A woman will play in the major leagues. And that is what makes Pitch so fun. It could happen. It eventually will happen. It is speculative fiction involving the best sport man ever invented.