For the majority of you, baseball is an alien sport that took a few moves here and there from cricket. What most may not know is that this sport is America’s greatest pastime. The show Pitch
is more than just about the sport; it’s about the rise and challenges of a female athlete. It’s very difficult to pull off a successful sports show or feature film. But when it’s done right, the action, thrill and drama is as real as the sports you see on television, if not more.
The concept of Pitch
is wonderful, and it is placed perfectly in the world we live in today. The premier episode is everything you would have wanted from a television show. The story is about a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the MLB. Major League Baseball, for those who are foreign to American sports, is the top tier professional league baseball. This is where the multi-million dollar contracts are signed, with all the perks and pitfalls of a superstar athlete. The obvious driven element is the fact that Ginny Baker, played wonderfully by Kylie Bunbury, is a female playing in a male dominated sport.
There aren’t any Emmy award winning performances as of yet, but it’s the story that will intrigue the audience. What Bunbury and the equally charming supporting cast do will hook you in just enough to keep the train going. Especially with the very unexpected twist at the end of the pilot episode, the show makes a solid case for the audience to stick around to find out what happens next. As a starting pitcher – a position similar to that of a bowler in cricket – for the San Diego Padres (a real franchise), she’s given no special treatment by the team and its staff. Apart from being beautiful, she’ll have to show her worth on the mound. However, the owner and general manager (Mark Consuelos) have a more marketable and business-like approach to the main character, which changes the dynamics of why she’s been signed to the professional team. In a way, you’ll get to see the ins and outs of the MLB.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar should be a slightly familiar face to those of you who are old enough to remember Saved By The Bell. Gosselaar plays as the team captain, Mike Lawson; a veteran of the game who figures out that Ginny Baker could be tied to his own legacy. Ali Larter plays as Amelia Slater, Baker’s agent. While the rest of the team find it difficult with the fact that there is a female in their team, teammate and friend Blip Sanders (Mo McRae) is a soft supporting cushion for Ginny, accepting the new change wholeheartedly. The same can be said about the former’s wife Evelyn Sanders (Meagan Holder), who could be seen as another crutch to hold Ginny up.
Overall, we have a show that explores the changes in the real world, applying it to fiction that could transform into reality in the near future. It’s watching a strong, beautiful, very talented, independent, African-American woman breaking the ceiling once built by men. Then again, it’s also about struggle, loss, resilience, hope and the human spirit. So even if you aren’t too familiar with the sport of baseball, it’s still a sport. We can all relate to the basic characteristics in team sports. We all know how it feels to be challenged, lose and finally, win.