Olson helps out with ‘Pitch’
A crowd awaits fictional female baseball player Ginny Baker as she arrives in a limousine with her agent and an assistant.
Baker (played by Kylie Bunbury) listens to music on headphones. Then she quickly prepares to face the crowd ready to greet the first female pitcher in the big leagues.
“Are you ready for this,” the agent Amelia Slater (played by Ali Larter) says to Baker.
“I’ve been ready my whole life,” Baker says during a scene in the new FOX show, “Pitch,” which premieres Thursday night.
It could also be said that Bunbury was ready for this moment.
Gregg Olson, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and a Newport Beach resident, helped Bunbury get ready for the show. He also advised the show’s cast, which includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who plays Mike Lawson, a San Diego Padres star catcher.
Olson knows a thing or two about pitching and playing in the big leagues. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1989 and also a Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer as a pitcher.
Olson worked closely with Bunbury, who appears to be an up-and-coming star as an actress. She really makes her role believable.
“She’s awesome,” Olson said of Bunbury. “We still train three times a week. She’s totally like a professional athlete, who wants to get it right. And she’s wanted to work harder when something is not coming to her fast enough. Everyone worked really hard to get into their roles and their baseball skills appear to be up to standard on the show.”
Olson doesn’t really know about Hollywood, but he has a good feeling about the show and that it could take off. The inclusion of Major League teams and access to clubhouses add more credibility and drama to the show.
Olson said he’s thoroughly enjoyed his experience working on the show. He was glad to take on the opportunity when his business partner Chad Kreuter could not take it on, he said.
Kreuter and Olson are in charge of PCH (Pitch, Catch, Hit) Academy.
Mike Fisher, a baseball consultant, featured in the movie, “Moneyball,” had Kreuter’s help in that film, Olson said. Kreuter was called to work with Bunbury, but he couldn’t do it and recommended Olson. Everything worked out.
“I think people will like the show,” Olson said. “I think it’s unique. It gives a nice view of the inside work of baseball and the front office that I don’t think we really have a view of seeing otherwise.”
Olson plans to watch the premiere with his family, which includes his wife, Jill, Brett, 21, Brooke, 19, Ashley, 16, and Ryan, 13.
Brett is a redshirt sophomore for the baseball team at Auburn, where Brooke is a sophomore. Ashley plays lacrosse at Corona del Mar High, and Ryan is playing baseball while he attends Mariners Christian.
Olson has loved living in Newport Beach, and has truly found a home, he said.
“It’s a great community,” Olson said of Newport Beach. “It’s unique that it’s a small-town feel in the midst of Orange County. You feel like you know everyone. When you go to the store you know you’ll have a dozen or more people who you know that you can talk to. It’s just great.”