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WINTER 2005

On the Diamond, Haas Alum Means Business

By Sara Palmbush

Not many Cal graduates get to choose between playing professional baseball and pursuing a career in business, but that was where former Cal shortstop Jeff Dragicevich found himself after finishing his undergraduate degree at Haas in 2004.

In truth it wasn't much of a dilemma for the Pac-10 standout who last June was chosen by the Colorado Rockies in the 18th round of the Major League draft. "I'm really enjoying the chance to fulfill my dream. I want to see how far it will take me," Dragicevich says.

Both California and athletics run in the family. His grandfather Ray Bergstrom went to Cal, his father Chuck played water polo and swam at UCLA, and his older brother Scott was an infielder at rival Stanford.

But while his athletic career defined much of his time at Cal, Dragicevich says Haas teachers such as Steve Etter, BS 83, MBA 89, a finance lecturer, left a lasting impression. He cites Etter's support in the classroom as well as in the stands. Etter rarely missed a home game.

Dragicevich says baseball helped him in some of his business classes. He once used his athletic skills for a project where the goal was to instruct classmates on a topic they were unfamiliar with. He showed them how to hit a baseball. He believes there are similarities between what he learned in the classroom and what he learned on the field. "In both baseball and business you have to be technically sound and then you have to be willing to take risks and just go for it," he says.

Now in the off-season most of Dragicevich's time is taken up by practice in Southern California with a group of professional baseball players including his brother Scott. The rest he spends tutoring high-school kids in math, going to the beach, and playing his favorite song, 'Mr. Jones,' on the guitar. It's a song by rock group Counting Crows, who are incidentally "huge Cal fans," he says.

He plans on putting his business degree to work after he's finished with baseball, but right now he's seeing where this road leads. Says Dragicevich, "Success is being happy with your career and the life you're leading, and I am."

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Jeff Dragicevich, BS 04

Jeff Dragicevich, BS 04
Baseball player
Colorado Rockies
Denver, Colorado

 
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