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Pleasanton Preps: Remembering 'Dr. B' George Baljevich, a legend in Tri-Valley local sports

Original post made on May 15, 2022

George Baljevich -- "Dr. B" -- was such an iconic figure in Pleasanton that locally he was every bit as well-known as John Madden. So, writing about Dr. B, who passed away at the age of 84 on May 12 was a daunting task.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, May 15, 2022, 6:21 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Mr. Julius
a resident of Downtown
on May 15, 2022 at 1:03 pm

Mr. Julius is a registered user.

I only met Dr. B a few times, once outside the library, and we spoke for at least half an hour. I worked for a short time in sports, and we traded stories. He invited me to come look at his sports memorabilia. I missed an opportunity, and Covid didn't help. As we spoke, at least two young people excitedly waved at him.

I've heard wonderful stories of his compassion.


Posted by Cortland67
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 15, 2022 at 1:08 pm

Cortland67 is a registered user.

Dennis, very well written tribute. Thanks


Posted by Jim L.
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Jim L. is a registered user.

Sad - Dr.B is truly an iconic legend. Great article, Dennis. We always looked so forward to the "Tri-Valley Sports Final" and "Let's Talk Sports" done so well and such a great service to the community. Great announcing was done on local football games, also. So great to watch. Definitely, a cemented tribute is obviously warranted. It is so cool he visited soccer icon Harry Miller in his latter year. Dr. B caps would be great, too, maybe with a Pleasanton heart logo or ?


Posted by Lahommed
a resident of Dublin
on May 15, 2022 at 1:29 pm

Lahommed is a registered user.

The world could use many more like Dr.B Rest in peace Sir!


Posted by Michael Drush
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 15, 2022 at 6:18 pm

Michael Drush is a registered user.

Dr. B , A great man and he always recognized me when I chatted with him. I was not in sports, not popular or the class validictorian.

but I attended high school where he taught. And he remembered me , my brother and sister. Then over the last 40 yrs I'd see him from time to time.

Here's what he taught me.

I don't know how much money he had, or how many homes he owned and couldn't tell you if he sported fancy clothes or jewelry.

I just remember how he treated me. Therefore the man's got my love and respect..
Dr. B must have been a rush fan because there's a song ( the garden ) and it proclaims all things remembered after one passes boils down to how you treated others.
RIP
Best regards, Michael Drush


Posted by [email protected]
a resident of Birdland
on May 15, 2022 at 7:59 pm

[email protected] is a registered user.

Loved watching Dr. B on Tri Valley Sports. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He once wrote a poem he recited on air about my daughter, Hope, an Amador Don cross country runner and her friend and opponent from Granada, Colleen McCandles. It was very touching and I have saved a copy of it until today. I was fortunate to meet Dr. B on a couple of occassions and he shared some of his personal memories regarding his coaching career. He is a fixture in our community and he will be missed terribly.


Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 15, 2022 at 10:47 pm

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

Everyone who went to Foothill had to pass through Dr. B's economics class! I had the fortune also of learning to operate a camera for his live call-in show "Let's Talk Sports". Ian Bartholomew directed the show during those years and Darla Stevens was the TV30 head back then.

I still carry with me Dr. B's sign-off phrase as a principle to live by: "Hope for the best and expect the worst." He was one of the best teachers I had. I will always hope he's in a better place. Rest in peace, Dr. B.


Posted by Cana
a resident of Foothill Place
on May 16, 2022 at 1:53 pm

Cana is a registered user.

I was a student of Dr. B at FHS in the Early 90s. He was the first person I met who was a “Dr.” but not a medical doctor. I remember how he would joke about being Dr.—even other teachers would joke about it—and him saying that I’d he could get his doctorate then anyone could. I now have a doctorate and I’m grateful to Dr. B for opening that realm of possibilities for me.


Posted by tigergin
a resident of Downtown
on May 16, 2022 at 4:02 pm

tigergin is a registered user.

Both of my kids attended Foothill High School, and both had classes with Dr B.
Dr B was a favorite, I enjoyed visiting with him on open
house nights and for many many more years here in town.
You never knew where Dr B would pop up and it was always a pleasure to say hi and
chat for a few moments.
Truely a Pleasanton icon who will be sorely missed.


Posted by Kathryn Selway
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 16, 2022 at 5:48 pm

Kathryn Selway is a registered user.

My husband, Bill Selway came from a family of 7 boys, all played sports in the 60's in Richmond, Ca.
When we moved to Pleasanton in the 80's, we would run into Dr. B. He remembered each of them and their individual accomplishments, which is a great surprise, but is typically Dr .B. On one occasion he was at our home for a fundraiser and my mother was watching a football game in her yellow plastic curlers and bathrobe, while the party was going on around her. Dr. B struck up a conversation with her about the game and they had a rousing discussion. Dr. B asked her for her "Football Picks". He told her to watch his next TV program as he was going to include them under the title of "Grammie Stein's Picks". She punched him in the arm and said it wasn't nice to tease and old lady!! He laughed quite hard at that, but on his next program he did exactly what he promised!! He will be missed and I agree with Dennis, there should be a permanent tribute to him. My recommendation would be a statue at one of the Sport Venues he loved so much.


Posted by Marc Ackerman
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 11, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Marc Ackerman is a registered user.

I was browsing and came across the news of Dr. B’s passing.
It struck me, so I created an account just to comment this one time.

I remember Dr.B. I went to Foothill, class of 88, and had him as a teacher a couple times. He was a very kind and funny man, from my perspective as a 16 yr old stoner/barely making it student.

I remember how he would fill the whole blackboard up with notes, that we were supposed to copy. Sometimes that was the extent of the class. He would let me sleep in class, after I took down the notes. But one time when I was sleeping, he led the whole class outside before the bell, and when the period bell went off I was alone inside the room. He was at the door laughing with a couple other students. I wasnt embarrassed. It was funny. That’s how I remember him.

I also remember getting the baseball and football cards in my notebook. You would have to keep a notebook full of his endless blackboard notes. It was a big part of your grade. If you did well on that task, he would slip cards into your notebook.
Dr B was very approachable and gave me his time when I had questions. For a sorry student like myself, his style was encouraging and effective. I actually did well in his classes, getting B’s of course. His teaching style reminds me of some of the more effective professors I’ve encountered in university.
He was accessible, efficient, smart, funny, and caring as a teacher. He was every bit as good a teacher as he was a man.

Lastly, I want to mention the one time I saw Dr B go through a visibly rough moment.
It was a Black Monday, 1987. The stock market took a 30% hit.
As students, we had no idea what was going on. But Dr. B was obviously devastated. He was as down as I’d ever seen him. He didn’t even want to talk to us that day. He mentioned what was going on, and that was it.
A couple weeks later, when he had gotten a hold of himself, he led us through the entire explanation and causes of the crash.


Posted by Marc Ackerman
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 11, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Marc Ackerman is a registered user.

P.S.
Dr. b always remembered me and my sister Julie.
If I saw him downtown or at a game, he would always ask about her.
Dr B loved what he did, and he impacted so many people in Pleasanton.
I’m happy to have known him.
God bless and RIP, DrB


Posted by Marc Ackerman
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 11, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Marc Ackerman is a registered user.

P.S.S.
I don’t even live in CA anymore, though I do travel to Pleasanton and the Bay Area fairly regularly for business.
But I still go downtown when I’m there, visit old friends, sometimes I even walk the football and baseball fields at Foothill and Amador.
Growing up in Pleasanton in the 80s was a gift. I never understood that when I was young, but now I do.
I always thought the cops were after me, and there was nothing there for me.
Even though my life was better than 99% of the rest of the worlds, Ifelt held down.
That’s just youth and immaturity, though.
I’m raising my kids in Grants Pass Oregon, now. And there is a resemblance of PTown here. Its a small valley town, just like PTown was in the 80s. It has a blend of rural/suburb people and lifestyles that I remember from my youth. The community is close, and the schools are well run.
I guess I’m hoping that I can recreate a sort of PTown experience for my kids.
We do have a couple borderline iconic educators/sports people here as well…..
But nobody like Dr B.


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