The Obit For Emil Drzayich

Eagle assistant baseball coach Drzayich dies Friday after game

Team will honor longtime coach Sunday at Eagle Yard.

The Idaho Statesman 4/12/2008
By Tim Fox

As a player and coach for the better part of the last half-century, Emil Drzayich preached the positive aspects of baseball, a game of failure.

On Sunday, coaches and players from the Eagle High baseball team will meet at Eagle Yard to share their stories about the positive impact Drzayich had on their lives.

Drzayich, a longtime baseball figure in the Treasure Valley and the assistant baseball coach at Eagle for the past 10 years, died in the Eagle Yard clubhouse after Friday night's game against Boise. He was 53. The cause of death has not been released.

Services are pending, under the direction of Summers Funeral
Homes, Ustick Chapel.

"If you could pick a place for that man to pass, it would be in a clubhouse," said Eagle coach Frank Wright, a longtime friend who was at Drzayich's side when he collapsed. "He had great compassion for baseball and love for the game. Our kids absolutely loved him."

Wright said there will be a tribute for Drzayich at Eagle Yard - a sign or a plaque - and his number will be retired. Wright said players plan to wear Drzayich's number or initials on their uniforms for the remainder of the season. One thing the team will not do is stop playing baseball.

Wright said Eagle's home game against Bishop Kelly on
Tuesday will go on as planned.
"The last thing that he would want us to do is cancel a game," Wright said.

Drzayich grew up in Mingo Junction, Ohio, and played at
Ohio University, where he broke major league Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt's career home run record. He later played professionally for the Boise Buckskins and the Cincinnati Reds' affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Drzayich's 130 total bases in 1978 rank sixth for a single season for Boise's professional baseball franchise, now known as the Hawks.

Drzayich coached at the Little League and high school levels in Eagle. He and his wife, Peggy, have four sons - Zac, Nick, Jake and Mack - who played baseball at Eagle.

Nick was on the Mustangs' 2003 5A state championship team and coaches the freshmen baseball team at Eagle. Jake and Mack are on the baseball team at Brigham Young.

Former Centennial coach Roger Wolf said Drzayich was a great husband and father.

"Terrific guy," Wolf said. "We're all very upset as far as the
baseball brotherhood. We lost one of our own.

"He was the type of guy that you thought you knew all of your life just because he was so kind and compassionate and he always had a positive thing to say," Wolf said.

"He was just one of those guys that you fell in love with. He was just a good dude. You talk to every coach in the Valley and they'll say the same thing about him. He was universally loved and respected."