Earlier this week it was announced that Amazon is developing a television series based on the hit movie "A League of Their Own." The film, which was released in 1992, is loosely based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that sprung up during WWII and features an all-star cast including Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks, and Madonna. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a great film and definitely worth a watch or two, however, I don’t think it’s worth developing into a series. It was attempted in the early 90s, and it failed miserably. Furthermore, I don’t need this show when I had the perfect one, and FOX set it up to fail from beginning to end.
In 2016, FOX debuted "Pitch," a TV show that focused on the first woman to play in Major League Baseball. During the one season that the show aired, we were granted the extraordinary opportunity to see women portrayed in roles that we’ve never seen before. There was Ginny (Kylie Bunbury), the strong, loving, kind, fun and intelligent young woman with the world on her shoulders as she became the first woman to play on a Major League Baseball team. We watched as she struggled to balance the pressure of being a role model to little girls across the world, the expectations of failure from some of her peers, and her own insecurities about her ability to perform in such a high-pressure situation. There was also Evelyn (Meagan Holder), the smart and savvy wife of one of Ginny’s teammates and long-time friend, Blip. She didn’t take any shit and she was quick to put her foot down when it came to Blip, his dumb ass choices regarding their family, and Ginny doubting herself. Finally, there was Amelia (Ali Larter), Ginny’s manager. She was a sports agent and she was a damn good one. She made sure that Ginny had the best deals and always stood up for her. She also believed in her talent and in her as a woman.
This show was my intersectional feminist dream come true! None of the women’s storylines revolved exclusively around men. Instead, it focused on real ass emotions and situations. Evelyn was never jealous over her husband’s friendship with Ginny. There were no catfights, raging PMS filled rants, or reenactments of “The Boy Is Mine.” There was love and genuine acceptance between all of them. The characters were well-developed and they had depth. We learned about Ginny’s inner turmoil about being a perfect pitcher on the mound and the lessons that her father drilled into her head about being perfect. We learned about her complicated relationship with her brother, her struggle to be an actual teenager instead of just a professional athlete 24/7, and how uncomfortable she felt being in the limelight. We saw Evelyn’s struggle to have her own career outside of being a caretaker to her children and constant companion to her husband’s busy play schedule. These characters had levels and that’s not something we see every day.
The classic white savior trope was turned on its head. While Ginny often relied on her teammate and captain, Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar aka Zach Morris) for help or advice, he never came in and saved the day. Well, he did that one time when it came to a vengeful ex accidentally leaking Ginny’s nudes, but he did it in a show of solidarity and as a way to teach the other teammates about solidarity and being an ally.
The dialogue was amazing, the characters were well developed, and I never left an episode feeling unsatisfied. This show was perfect, and FOX failed it.
From the very beginning, "Pitch" did not receive the treatment that it deserved. You would think that a show that focuses around baseball would air in the Spring. No, "Pitch" aired in the fall on Thursdays. Everyone knows that you don’t put a brand new show up against Shonda Rhimes on Thursdays. It’s a gamble of the worst kind, and it’s almost a certified kill shot.
However, that's not all. During the 2017 World Series, which was happening at the same time as the show airing, FOX made the decision to air promos for "Lethal Weapon" instead of "Pitch!" It made no sense whatsoever. Cries from fans for official Ginny Baker merchandise from the San Diego Padres, the team Ginny played for, went unanswered. It was the perfect opportunity to inspire little girls and young women, and it wast completely ignored. There were fan campaigns for another season, and creators and producers pitched numerous ideas for the show with a sliding scale of budgets and FOX still didn’t want to hear it. It didn’t matter that they didn't promote the show like they should have or that a brand new show couldn’t compete against "Scandal" on ABC. The show was canceled in May 2017.
So, you see, I don’t need this "A League of Our Own" show. I already know it’s going to be the same shit on a different day: hollow attempts at feminism and equality that completely ignore women of color. If there are women of color, they’ll be forced into stereotypical roles or merely serve as fodder to move along the plot lines of white women. They’ll be relegated to the background or completely ignored all together. I’ve seen "The Handmaid’s Tale," I already know how this story ends. I had the show of my dreams, and it was not given the respect and honor that it was properly due. So, if you’re not giving me another season of "Pitch," then you can keep it. #PitchPlease
You can watch all ten episodes of "Pitch" on Hulu now. Also, Mark Paul Gosselaar and that beard is damn near a crime against humanity. Fine as hell is an understatement!