Zack Morris who? Mark-Paul Gosselaar is suiting up for Pitch. And by suiting up we mean he grew a big ol' bushy beard, packed on some weight and threw on the baseball cleats to play Mike Lawson, the catcher for the San Diego Padres on the Fox series. Yeah, it's a far-cry from the blonde days of Saved By the bell.
"The script was a script…that I just couldn't put down," Gosselaar told E! News' Carissa Culner at the Pitch premiere. "I just knew that the team, no pun intended, was one that could make this a special project."
Pitch tells the story of San Diego Padre's pitcher Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), the first female to play in Major League Baseball, and her teammates who all have their own thing going on.
"I can relate more to this character. Zack Morris to me was a true character that I played with the fake blonde hair. Zack Morris is what I wanted to be in high school 'cause I was not that kid in high school. I was the kid that was on the steps doing other thing besides schoolwork and I saw the cool kids acting like Zack Morris," Gosselaar said. "Mike Lawson, the character that I play now, is probably how I would conduct myself now if I were a professional ballplayer."
Despite the intense training Gosselaar's gone through to play a convincing baseball player, don't expect him to trade professions anytime soon.
"Hell no…it's a lot harder than they make it look," he said about giving baseball a try for real. "On television they make it look like it's a graceful slow sport…these guys are getting beaten up…it's a brutal sport."
Pitch premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. on Fox.