FOX is taking bold steps to make sure baseball fans are aware of its upcoming series Pitch, which depicts the first female pitcher to make it to the major leagues. As reported by Deadline, the network is partnering with marketing agency Access Sports Media to show the Pitch pilot episode in 43 minor league ballparks, along with 12 independent league and college summer league parks during August and September.
The “Pitch Night at the Ballpark” events at selected ballgames will allow ticket holders to go onto the field for activities such as kids running the bases, t-shirt tosses, and autograph sessions with the players. Following those events, fans can watch the pilot episode of Pitch on the centerfield scoreboard with free snacks available.
Pitch follows the story of Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), the pitcher who breaks MLB’s gender barrier with the San Diego Padres. The cast also includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the team’s All-Star catcher, Mark Consuelos as San Diego’s general manager, Michael Beach as Baker’s father and mentor, and Ali Larter as Baker’s agent.
One big selling point for the show is that it’s being produced in cooperation with Major League Baseball, which will allow for the use of official uniforms and logos, ballparks and game footage. Real MLB players will reportedly also make appearances, though none have been announced. That might be how the game footage is incorporated.
“The condition for MLB to come on board was that we remain absolutely authentic to the game and to the players and to the stadiums and that appeals to real baseball fans,” Gosselaar told Awful Announcing in an interview during All-Star week in San Diego. “I always get taken out of shows that are about football, but it’s not actually the real teams. We’re actually THE Padres playing THE Dodgers and that’ll appeal to real fans.”
Pitch premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 on FOX. You can read all of our coverage on the series thus far here.