Stars of Fox’s new television show “Pitch” showed up to the West L.A. Little League Field Tuesday night to celebrate the premiere of what could be a catalyst for female athletes crossing over into “male sports.”
Lead actress Kylie Bunbury plays a young pitcher named Ginny Baker who is pushed by her father (Michael Beach) to be nothing less than great when it comes to her honing her craft in the male-dominated sport of baseball. Bunbury’s character must step up to the plate to prove that she’s worth the spot on the team given to her by coach Al Luongo (Dan Lauria). Mark-Paul Gosselaar stars as the team’s catcher.
The cast and crew hope the show will help in breaking stigmas about women participating in predominately male sports or playing alongside men — sports like baseball.
“This show is important because I feel like women are breaking barriers. That’s what Ginny is doing. It’s also important in terms of what I was talking about: believing in yourself and knowing that you are worthy and you are capable if you set your mind to it and you work really hard,” Bunbury responded after being asked why this show is so important in today’s society.
“There’s a new thing happening in baseball now so I think they’re really ready for this. I don’t know if there will be that much confusion and contortions when it comes down to happening in the next year or two,” said optimistic executive producer and director Paris Barclay. Barclay says he is hopeful this show can make an impact and that the “MLB is certainly ready for it when it does happen.”
There has never been a female player in the MLB, but “Pitch’ may help pave the way. Major League Baseball is officially working in association with FOX on the show, the first relationship of its kind between the league and a scripted series. On the show, Ginny is signed to the San Diego Padres, and some scenes will shoot in Petco Park.
Female athletes have dominated headlines at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The spotlight was on female athletes like Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, who brought home many individual and team medals, proving they are as fierce competitors and teammates as their male counterparts. In fact, the U.S. women won more medals than the U.S. men in Rio.
“Pitch” premieres Thursday, Sept 22 at 9/8c on Fox.