This may shock some of you, but I’m a woman. By all accounts and definitions of the term, I’m a lady. I also work in baseball for a living and it’s a tough gig. In a sport where the fans are not progressive and a “good ol’ boys” club, I’m sitting here asking why nobody will take any of those who identify themselves as female seriously.
When the announcement was made there would be a new show on FOX about a woman playing Major League Baseball, I’ll admit, it sounded a bit ridiculous. There was a list of colleagues making guest appearances, so that drew me in. And to be honest, I was wanting to watch it because we love to witness a disaster. To those who worked very hard on the show, I apologize for my original hypothesis.
Fast forward a couple of episodes in and I’m making sure each and every episode is recorded. Why? Because I fell in love with the characters. To know we are finally living in a world where there are outlets willing to put women in a strong, leading role, made me clear my schedule and available to the weekly program. Unfortunately, after one season, that show has been canceled.
Pitch catered to everyone. You don’t like baseball? That’s fine. There are dramatic storylines to follow and even some adult scenes. You are romantic about baseball? That’s great. There was a lot of research put into making sure those fans were happy. The show even highlighted the biggest names in sports media which made me happy to see my friends and colleagues on a show I was falling love with week-after-week.
We recently wrote about how the gender barrier was slowly crumbling in professional baseball. And while it may not be realistic to see a self-identified female in a major league uniform, it is somewhat on its way. And some of the portrayals were a bit difficult to grasp and downright scary. Being smacked on your backside by a teammate and calling her a joke will only put fear into women, not strength. And I have spoken to many athletes in regards to women playing baseball they would never let something like this happen.
The four-million viewers who tuned into the debut of the show ended up being a rather dedicated fanbase. Those numbers obviously didn’t stick and that’s considered a “soft viewing,’ but the thing this series gave us was just a glimmer of hope.
Ginny Baker did that. She may be a fictional character, but she did highlight some issues that were not so make believe.
I one day want to write about the first woman to step on a Major League Baseball field and ask her everything that comes to mind to the point where I am out of breath. Will we witness history? At the moment, it’s doubtful, but we will always have this show to look back on and think “almost.”