SAN DIEGO – “On Deck” is an up-and-coming baseball show all of its own — and it soon could be on its way to a screen near you.
The project by San Diego native Alex Bentley features current and former baseball stars including Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and outfielder Adam Jones. It chronicles the story of an aspiring professional player attempting to figure out life after being cut from a team.
Bentley, a former baseball player himself, said he knows the feeling of rejection all too well.
“A lot of athletes are going to be able to resonate with the hard ending of a playing career,” he said, “and the loss of purpose and identity and what to go do with my life after I’ve poured my heart and soul into this game that I’ve spent my entire career pursuing.”
The San Diego City College alumnus still is pitching the season one trailer and the proof of concept to different networks and streaming services. If not picked up, Bentley said they’ll look for independent funding to shoot the entire season on their own before circling back with entertainment companies.
Jones, a San Diego native who played 14 MLB seasons mostly with the Baltimore Orioles, plays himself in the show. He said he met Bentley at baseball’s Winter Meetings and decided that he wanted to be a part of the project.
“We did the little quick scene and it was like ‘Alright, thank you,’” Jones said. “He sent it to me like probably a couple days later and I’m just like ‘Wow, that was pretty cool.’”
For Jones — a five-time All-Star whose last MLB season came in 2019 — the show offers fans a glimpse of the game they don’t often see.
“All they get to see is us playing baseball or fishing or hunting and stuff like that,” he said. “They don’t really get to see a lot of the normalcies that come with the athletes because they put us on such a pedestal.
“Whenever we do something normal, it’s like ‘Oh, why are you normal?’”
Bentley said the story will be relatable, not just to ballplayers, but to everyday people.
“Everyone’s going to feel and connect with what some of the characters in the story have to go through, what they do, the sacrifices they make and some of the end results that work and don’t work,” he said.
For a San Diego kid who grew up living by and playing at Sunset Park, celebrating the show getting picked up there is what Bentley hopes to call a full circle moment.
“Just being a San Diego boy and a die-hard Padres fan growing up, just being back here is special for me,” he said.
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