Entertainment

'Pitch' star Kylie Bunbury of Montreal talks groundbreaking baseball role

TORONTO — The new series "Pitch" features a groundbreaking premise that Montreal-born star Kylie Bunbury believes could very well come true one day.

Bunbury stars as Ginny, who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball when she joins the San Diego Padres.

"I think it's possible," Bunbury said during a recent stop in Toronto. "I think it's a matter of time before it happens."

Of course, it's not an easy transition for Ginny.

As we see in the first episode, debuting Thursday night on Global and Fox, Ginny's male teammates are hesitant to embrace the gifted pitcher on her first day on the mound. And the team's executives, who insist that Ginny not get any special treatment, argue over the impact she'll have on the franchise.

Co-stars include Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the team's star catcher and Ali Larter as her agent/confidante who left her job as a Hollywood publicist to ensure she succeeds. Mo McRae plays a centre-fielder and her old friend from the minor leagues. Dan Lauria and Mark Consuelos play the team's manager and general manager.

Bunbury says she was excited to play a complex character who has a lot of drive and works hard but is also flawed and vulnerable.

She trained over two-and-a-half months to learn how to pitch: long-tossing, building up her arm strength, "watching a lot of baseball and just really living like a pro athlete," she says.

She has athleticism in her blood. Her father, Alex Bunbury, played on the Canadian national soccer team from 1986 to 1997. And she picked up some tips from her brother, who is also a professional soccer player.

"There were definitely aches and pains," she says. "I actually sort of injured my elbow during shooting because pitchers typically don't pitch on consecutive days. They normally take breaks but while shooting, I had to pitch consecutive days and that caused a little wear and tear on my elbow."

Bunbury didn't get a chance to speak with professional female athletes early in production, but it was a goal of hers.

"I hope to, at some point," she says, adding with a laugh: "Serena (Williams), come on over."

Bunbury says she also learned from the character of Ginny, noting "there are a lot of parallels with acting."

"I think I just learned what you can achieve with focus, what you can achieve with drive and being resilient and I think, just like Ginny, I'm learning who I am."