Majestic Majeski; Dave Majeski still loves the challenge

Majeski credits the team’s preparation each season, including an annual trip to Florida that was financed through off-season fundraising. “We’d have three-a-day practices, and Coach Fontana would bring coaches that would instruct us and drill us so much that, by the time we got home, everyone else was still shoveling off their infields and we had sunburn,” he said. “It really was wonderful how much preparation we put into it. I can tell you that it really showed me how to work hard, and it paid off in college. I knew how to keep my focus and put in the hard work.”

With his three years of varsity dominance, it was no surprise that college coaches beat down the door. Fontana said that he was approached by more than 70 college programs with offers for Southington’s prized fielder. The Gators won the bidding war, and Majeski was able to secure a rare five-year contract from a division one program at the top of their game, coming off the program’s first College World Series appearance.

“The University of Florida was on television, and everybody was looking at these monsters,” he said. “Everybody asked me what I was thinking going there. I guess I was just a cocky kid that wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way.”

Once again, Majeski quieted critics with a quick rise to the top. In his freshman season, two senior outfielders collided during a play and both left the field with broken legs. Majeski was thrust into the upperclassman lineup and held his own as Florida battled atop the NCAA rankings.

“It was trial by fire. The seniors were used to so much success, and here comes this smiling kid from Connecticut,” he said. “I had to learn quickly and produce quickly.”

Once again, Majeski embraced the challenge. He worked his way up to leadoff hitter as a junior, and helped lead Florida back to the NCAA tournament. He currently ranks in the university’s top 10 in games played (242), hits (262), at bats (812) , and runs scored (186). Each season, his average improved from .258 in 1989 to .314 as a sophomore, .333 as a junior, and .342 as a senior. He finished his college career with 90 RBI, 34 doubles, eight triples, 116 walks, and six home runs.

He still holds three postseason records for the Gators with most hits (21) and runs (13) in the SEC Tournament. His seven scores in the 1991 SEC Tournament is still the most by any Florida player in a single tournament. It was no surprise that Majeski was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and the Milwaukee Brewers in different Major League drafts, and it was no surprise that he signed to a minor league contract with the Brewers in 1992.

The surprise came when Majeski—at the top of his game—decided to leave his playing days behind him. He said it was a tough decision, but he has never really questioned it. It’s hard to balance a family life with a professional baseball career.

“There were a couple of years after I left that I’d be watching the pros and see some of the guys I played with or against,” he said. “I’d think that I was better than that guy. I worked harder than that one, or I could hit better than that one. But I didn’t really second guess myself.”

Majeski didn’t really retire. This was the start of his second career that has carried him to the present day. His coach had said that Majeski would have made a good coach by the time he left the high school. He was ready to fulfill that promise. Majeski returned to the dugout as a high school baseball coach in Florida where he led Eastside High School to their best record in 12 years before moving to Santa Fe High School and leading that program to district titles from 1998-2001. In 1998, Majeski was selected as the coach of the year by the Gainesville Sun.

“I liked to help other kids develop and chase their dreams,” he said. “I was lucky enough to find a new way to enjoy the sport.”

Once again, Majeski’s star was on the rise. Once again, his strong commitment to family caused him to reassess his goals.

“My twin girls were about two and a half or three. With teaching and coaching, I was never around the house too much,” he said. “One of them slipped and bumped her head. She started crying, looked up at me, and immediately went running to mom. Right then and there, I retired from coaching. My girls were more important. I handed in my resignation the very next day.”

His retirement was short-lived. Six months passed before a newspaper notice for a charity softball tournament caught his attention. The University of Florida team was challenging local sportscasters and players to a celebrity game. Majeski registered for the contest and settled himself into a spot late in the order to study the pitcher. He noticed that she made each batter swing foolishly at a few pitches before lobbing a hittable ball. By the time he stepped to the plate, Majeski had formulated a plan.

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