If you are a baseball fan, you probably know Jim Abbott for pitching ten MLB seasons despite being born without a right hand. If you are a kid who grew up in the 90s, you probably know Abbott for his cameo in Boy Meets World.
Abbott appeared in the ninth episode of the program's first season, with the first airing on Nov. 26, 1993. Abbott, who played with the California Angels from 1989-1992, was then a member of the New York Yankees.
"This may sound really silly, but I didn't think I was going to be on the show," he told ThePostGame. "Disney contacted the Angels, and I thought they were asking if I'd come up and say hello to kids on the set. I said, 'Yeah, sure.' It was the offseason and I thought I'll go up there. My wife and I went and they handed me this Yankee jacket. They said, 'Here are your lines.' I said, 'What do you mean my lines? I'm not going to be on this show.' They said, 'No, it'll be great. We have it all written in.' I didn't plan on being on the show. I never knew it would still be airing. I think I've gotten like two $7 checks since I've been on Boy Meets World."
In the episode, "Class Preunion," Cory Matthews' teacher, Mr. Feeny, discourages him about his dream to become a major leaguer. Cory's dad, Alan, sends Jim Abbott 63 telegrams (that is how many Abbott received; Alan may have sent more). Abbott eventually comes to the Matthews household to consult Cory. After all, there were a lot of people who doubted Abbott could become a major league pitcher.
Abbott, Cory, Alan and Cory's brother, Eric, discuss Abbott's no-hitter, the University of Michigan and bunting. However, Abbott was not propelled to Hollywood greatness.
"I thought I did a darn good job on that show," Abbott says with a laugh. "It never really panned out for me, but that was funny. This generation that grew up watching that…I don't know how long I was on that show, maybe five minutes. People still talk about it all the time."
Although he was a Yankee at the time, Abbott had stayed in contact with Tim Mead of the Angels, who has been with the organization for 36 years and is now vice president of communications. After the Yankees, Abbott made a stop with the White Sox, returned to the Angels, went back to the White Sox and retired as a Milwaukee Brewer. He currently resides in Southern California and works with the Angels on an informal basis.
Abbott spends much of retirement traveling the country for speaking engagements, although, he does not like the term, "motivational speaker." He uses his story to inspire others, many who suffer from disabilities.
He part of Topps' new "Pride & Perseverance" set, which honors past and present MLB players who have overcome challenges.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.