Thursday night I turned on the television and saw a female pitcher on the mound for the San Diego Padres. It took me a minute to realize this was Fox’s new series, Pitch. I watched it for a bit, curious to see what it was all about. After all, my book, Gil, about a 44 year old pitcher that throws for the Colorado Rockies also seems to push the edges of reality. I did enjoy the first episode, and was a little amused at a few similarities with Gil.
The first similarity was with the characters. In Pitch, the catcher, Mike Lawson, is gregarious but also really believes in his pitcher. In Gil, Timber Johnson, is the one who tells Gil he should be pitching his personality.
Then there is the pitcher, Ginny Baker. She has a horrible first outing and, after a lecture from the catcher, realizes that she can’t pitch until she starts throwing for herself. Gil has a very similar chapter.
Finally, the entire concept of both Gil and Pitch revolve around a scenario that seems very unlikely to ever happen – a 44 year old man gets a rare disease that lets him pitch with wicked speed and a female pitcher in the Majors. Improbable or not, it sets a scene that is useful in telling an important story.