"I am very happy for Aaron Gates to get a chance to play professional baseball," Grahovac told The Register. "He deserves it."
Years earlier, Grahovac had his own chance to play professional baseball. He played three seasons before an injury ended his career.
He then went on to a career as a coach and even as a police officer. In 2011, Grahovac led Concordia to the NAIA national championship.
Grahovac's pro career began in 1989, taken by the Giants in the fourth round of the draft out of Chapman University in California. He also played at Azusa Pacific.
Grahovac started with the Giants at short-season Everett. The catcher hit .168 in 46 games as he adjusted to using wooden bats.
He moved to single-A Clinton in 1990. He also saw time at short-season Bend. In 40 games that year, he hit .203. Grahovac then finished out his career with 26 games back at Clinton in 1991.
Grahovac then soon started his coaching career. He returned to Chapman for a year, then spent seven years coaching at Orange Coast College before turning to a long stint in law enforcement, according to CourtesyRunner.com.
He returned to coaching at Orange Lutheran High School, where he coached another future professional player - and future major league player - Garrit Cole.
"I coached him three years, and he's probably the most competitive kid I've ever been around," Grahovac told The Los Angeles Times in 2013 of Cole. "On and off the field, he was very competitive."
Grahovac took over at Concordia in 2009 and continued there through 2015. In 2016, he managed the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska Baseball League, where he made headlines for a brawl between Grahovac and the opposing coach.
In 2011, Grahovac made better headlines, as Concordia took the national championship.
"It's just an unbelievable feeling right now," Grahovac said after the win, according to NAIA.org. "It's been a long year, but this made it all worth it. I can't describe what I'm feeling. It's just unbelievable."
- NAIA.org, June 4, 2011: Concordia Wins 2011 Avista-NAIA World Series
- CourtesyRunner.com, March 22, 2012: Interview with Concordia-Irvine Coach Mike Grahovac
- Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2013: Cole's arrival is coming at 100 mph
- Orange County Register, July 3, 2013: Concordia baseball player signs with Yankees
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,704
Made the Majors:1,033-38.2%
Never Made Majors:1,671-61.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263