Mark-Paul Gosselaar on 2016 IMPACT25 honoree Kylie Bunbury

Mark-Paul Gosselaar
This veteran television actor stars alongside Kylie Bunbury and portrays Padres catcher Mike Lawson in the new show "Pitch." He's also known for his role as Zack Morris in "Saved By the Bell."

I met Kylie Bunbury when I tested for the role of Mike Lawson in "Pitch." She had been cast earlier and came in to do a chemistry read for me. I knew she was pitching and training for the role, so I was a little intimidated by her. The scene we were working on was from the pilot when Lawson smacks her character, Ginny Baker, on the butt.

I asked her, "Is it OK if I actually hit you in the bum?"

She answered, "Yes, as long as I get to do it to you."

After meeting and acting the scene with her, I thought she was amazing. I believed her as the character. She just has the presence of Ginny Baker. I'm so amazed at how effortless she makes it look. There are very few scenes where Ginny is not feeling something. Her acting is flawless, and her work ethic is something I wish more people had.

Every moment that Kylie is awake, that I see, she is working on this show. If she has a 15-minute window, she's working with Gregg Olson, her pitching coach. She hadn't touched a baseball until last November and she has velocity on the ball.

There are so many parallels between Kylie and her character. Kylie is a relative unknown, and after she gets this role is thrust into the spotlight. She juggles work, training, her diet, family, friends and the press, just like Ginny Baker. She has such poise and maturity.

"Pitch" is a great story for girls and women, and I think it is equally important for boys and men. I have four children, two boys and two girls. I don't want my girls to feel like they have limits because of their gender, but I also don't want my boys to put limits on my girls. When my boys watch "Pitch," I want them to know their sisters can do everything they can, and probably better in certain aspects.

Kylie is one of the nicest people. She's got this goofy side to her and is a goober sometimes, which just endears her to people even more. She's a big goonie.

At the end of the third episode, my character says to hers, "You blow me away, Baker." And Kylie does all the time.

You blow me away, Bunbury.

More on Kylie Bunbury

• Becoming Ginny Baker Story »

• 'Pitch' Finale recap and Q&A with Kylie Bunbury  Story »

• Is 'Pitch' sending the right message to young viewers? Debate »

The IMPACT25 is espnW's annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest difference for women in sports. Explore the 2016 list and more content at

Related Content