'Pitch': Is Ginny Baker a Feminist?

Star Kylie Bunbury and executive producer Dan Fogelman talk with THR about the first woman to break Major League Baseball's gender barrier.
Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Two episodes into Fox's freshman drama Pitch, and Ginny Baker is beginning to show what she's made of.

After struggling in her Major League Baseball debut, Baker (Kylie Bunbury) found her confidence and scored her history-making first big-league win. Off the field, meanwhile, episode two showed the Padres phenom struggling to find her place in society and with the team. Ultimately, she used a guest spot on Jimmy Kimmel to ditch a home decor segment and speak out on a sexual assault case making headlines. The move came after sports reporter Rachel Patrick (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) pushed her to comment on the case.

As viewers continue to get to who Ginny is, it begs the question: Is she a feminist?

"One-hundred percent, Ginny is a feminist," Bunbury told The Hollywood Reporter from Dodger Stadium during production on episode two. "I'm excited for these next two episodes because you’re really getting to see Ginny coming out of her shell and owning her own space. … You get to hear her voice and how she feels about things — and a lot of the issues are very current. It's great to see someone in a position of power who doesn’t really know what to do with that but has these feelings about what’s going on and is very honest about them."

For Pitch co-creator/executive producer Dan Fogelman, who had the idea to turn co-creator Rick Singer's movie idea into a TV series, the show is about seeing what kind of a woman Ginny wants to become.

"Ginny is young and figuring out if she's a feminist," Fogelman said. "The pilot is about her becoming the first woman in Major League Baseball. Once you start episode two, she's the first woman in MLB. Now the question of the series becomes: What kind of woman does she want to be? She's a 23-year-old kid who has been groomed her entire life to care about one thing: baseball and making the Major Leagues. Now it's a coming-of-age story, but she's a little stunted; it's happening a little bit late for her. Is she a feminist? In the pilot, I think she would honestly say, 'I don’t even know.' That's what the journey is, and we dive heavy into that."

As for Al's (Dan Lauria) misogynistic comments, Bunbury says Ginny is balancing being a feminist and a team player, which creates another layer to the role for the athletic actress. "There's this balance of being a feminist but also being a team player that I think is really interesting and complex for me to play," she noted.

As the pilot illustrated, young girls are already looking up to Ginny — with signs like "I'm next" at the ballpark — and the entire country is now swept up in "Ginnsanity."

"I think there's huge potential for Ginny to be an icon because not only is she doing something for the first time, but the way in which she got there — which I think is iconic — she worked really hard," Bunbury said. "I think that that's really important, especially with this generation right now. I think that everything is about getting things quickly. This generation needs to be reminded of the fact that we need to work hard to attain things. So you can have dreams, but let's work hard for them."

Thursday's third episode, titled "Beanball," will find the Padres taking on the Cardinals with a pitcher who broke Tommy's (Ryan Dorsey) finger as Ginny realizes her ex-boyfriend Trevor (Shamier Anderson) has been called up.

As for whether Bunbury thinks a woman will eventually break the gender barrier in the majors, she says it's "only a matter of time."

"I think baseball is one of the few sports where we can see women; it's very feasible. There are two women in the Minor Leagues already. We're pretty much there," she says.

Pitch airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Watch a clip from Thursday's episode, below.

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