A new series on Fox Network appropriately named “Pitch” is also bringing a historical significance to television and Major League Baseball.
Based on true events “In the future to come” the fictional series chronicles the story of 23-year-old pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Branbury) and her five-year journey rising through the ranks to fame as the first female to break gender barriers by signing a major league contract to pitch for the San Diego Padres.
The show is produced in partnership with the MLB which provides producers with unparalleled access to team logos, stadiums, and even brand names such as Nike and New Balance.
Fox’s partnership with the MLB on this series creates a virtual reality as it would happen to a woman if she were to sign a major league contract.
From awkward scenes in the locker rooms to mound visits in the middle of actual stadiums such as San Diego’s Petco Park and San Francisco’s AT&T Park and launch parties and other events happening off the field, it’s all recorded through the eyes of a Ginny.
The series also shows Ginny receiving an endorsement by Nike adding to the pressure of her fame.
Ginny is a world sensation, her popularity in the show is often compared to the great Jackie Robinson.
Her uniform number was selected as number 43 by the Padres club owner. Just one up from Jackie Robinson’s 42, the only number retired in the league which represents his ground-breaking role as the first African American to play in the MLB.
Similar to Jackie Robinson, Ginny’s journey to the Big leagues won’t be a smooth one by any means.
To add to the professional struggles, Ginny’s personal struggles begin to play a big role mid-way through the series into episode six when her battle with anxiety is revealed affecting her ability to compose herself on the mound.
The show chronicles Ginny’s life in real time but also cuts to sporadic flash-backs of memories and moments she shares with her father as a young girl that give insight of how her relationship with her father seem to dance on the line between tough love and near child abuse.
Ginny’s dad would make her practice until exhaustion.
The flashbacks also add to the almost unbearable weight of pressure that begins to accumulate from the pilot episode almost from the moment she signs the contract with San Diego on through to episode six, where she’ll finally snap and is video recorded having a meltdown in the bathtub of a private hotel room.
The producers of the show do a good job at capturing emotions on and off the field.
She struggles having to deal with composing herself on social media and trying to distinguish who she is, and who the media portrays her to be.
In a social media world, even her attempts to be normal for a night in episode six become exploited.
As the season progresses and with help from the team psychologist, Ginny is finally able to get a grip on reality, and comes to terms with her fame realizing she needs to become stronger inside and out and that all eyes are on her.
As a fictional story and a glimpse of what could be possible in years to come, “Pitch” brings a new view to the world of baseball by allowing a woman to participate in a male dominated sport.
The series could be seen as an inspiration to woman and young girls but also attracts male viewers as well combining sports, and the empowerment of women as it portrays hypothetical events following the debut of the long awaited first female player in Major League Baseball.