A while back I wrote an article about how women can play sports just as well as men. Many articles speculated that Melissa Mayeux was positioned to grace the MLB circuit, possibly the first female to do so if the cards willed it. To visualize how this could play out the brilliant minds at Fox came up with a pilot for a series based on this very same scenario: 23 year old Ginny Baker, Kylie Bunbury, is called up from the minors to pitch for the San Diego Padres. Because of her African American heritage, and chance to be come a pioneer and icon, the organization gives her the number 43, just one off Jacki Robinson’s retired #42, in the hopes that she becomes legendary too.
Don’t expect a fairytale ending for our main heroine though. Fox scrubbed all the Disney like magic out of this journey making it raw and realistic. From the get go Ginny’s career has a rough start, her inexperience evident during her pitching debut fiasco. Since she is here to stay, half gimmick half by merit, the GM forces the coach and team captain to make friends with the rookie. Hillarity and lots of aha moments ensue, especially around the delicate balance of having a female coworker in all all male dominated world.
Alongside Kylie, the all start cast features popular sitcom stars Dan Lauria who plays Coach Luongo and Mark-Paul Gosselaar who plays star catcher and team captain Mike Lawson. Ali Larter, cast as Amelia, is brilliant as Ginny’s manager, who has to walk a fine line between business partner and friend. It took me about two episodes and a half to recognize the Save by the Bell star, who sports a beard and a very convincing baseball player type physique. For a 42 year old, he is just smoking hot!
Kevin Connolly has a few appearances too as the front office operations manager and Oscar, their Latino GM, is also another groundbreaking baseball superstar that finds himself serving as a buffer between the players and the business side of things. Watching them all get along is one is not only entertaining but a learning experience. You’ll fall in love with America’s past time.
Each new episode reveals the trials and tribulations of the new rising star, past and present, letting us in on the journey of the kid that is poised to become a Cooperstown legend. Scandals, betrayal, baseball innings, an ESPN The Body issue pictures and lots of behind the scenes looks at how a ball club is run are a few of the reasons why this show hooked me in from day one. It is the ultimate baseball fantasy.
Watch the story unfold on Hulu or on Fox’s app. I’m hoping this gets picked up for multiple seasons as it is truly an inspirational fiction piece that grows hope in our hearts that a female starter could be a possibility. Maybe our daughters, nieces and granddaughters will be able to pitch for our favorite teams. 🙂