Fox’s amazing and important new series “Pitch” isn’t so far-fetched – see why
Our new fave show, Pitch, depicts the fictional story of Ginny Baker, the first woman to play Major League Baseball. The story is so inspiring, it’ll have you cheering Ginny on from your couch! Though there hasn’t been a woman in the MLB yet, after watching the show, it’s clear that there needs to be. And as it turns out, we’re closer than you might have imagined.
According to Glenn Fleisig, the research director for the American Sports Medicine Institute and a medical adviser to USA Baseball, “There is…no biological reason a woman could not pitch to major league hitters.” Two women working their way to the big leagues are Stacy Piagno, 25, and Kelsie Whitmore, 18. This summer, the two joined the short list of women who have played for a professional baseball team, after signing with the Sonoma Stompers.
photo via MLB Instagram
Francis Ford Coppola, one of the team’s sponsors, has shown support for the two. “When watching Major League Baseball, I always wondered why there couldn’t be a co-ed team. It’s the one major sport in which weight and strength come less into play.”
Since, women’s baseball is not a high school sport in the U.S., young female athletes must opt out of sofball and try out for the male team. And while many women do play softball, it’s hard to make it into a career. According to the National Pro Fastpitch, the only professional women’s softball league in the U.S., their players’ salaries are only “approximately $5,000-$6,0000 for the playing season of June, July, and August.” However, in regard to the male teams, according to Forbes magazine, “Owners are handing out $100 million contracts like Pez with 45 MLB players currently roaming the field with a nine-figure contract in hand.”
That’s crazy—women players can be just as passionate and skilled as their male counterparts, yet it’s impossible for them to receive nearly equal pay. A main part of the problem is the number of fans. Teams make money through advertisements and ticket sales. The NPF only averages “1,500-2,500 fans per game” and only broadcasts its “Final Series’ game(s) of the Championship Series” nationally. According to the NPF, “National media exposure will provide consistent, measurable return on investment for sponsors and will bring national attention to the NPF and its world-class athletes.”
If we support female teams, women who are passionate about sports will continue to get the same opportunities to make it a career, just like men do. For now, players like Stacy Piagno, and Kelsie Whitmore have the talent, and when they make it to the big leagues we’ll be watching. But in the meantime, we’ll be rooting for Ginny Baker every Wednesday night on Fox!