June 29 is an important day for the Gazdars – it’s the day Michael and Teri went on their first date, the date he proposed and the date they married, all within the 2 year span of 1989 to 1991. “In 1989 I was finishing up at Life Chiropractic College West in San Lorenzo,” explained Michael. “Teri worked in the Produce Department at the local Safeway. I started talking to her and asked her if she needed a chiropractor because I was looking for patients to see in the school clinic. She said she already had a chiropractor, so then I asked her to go out with me. She said yes, then I lost her phone number for the next 6 months. I finally found it and called her because she was never at the store when I was and her coworkers were getting suspicious of me.”
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1984 and Life Chiropractic in 1989, Michael started his private practice, John Muir Chiropractic Center, in 1990. In 2008 he also became the team chiropractor for the San Francisco Giants, balancing time between his practice in Walnut Creek and days in San Francisco when the Giants were at home. As a result, he has three World Championship rings from the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series titles, which he plans on someday giving one to each of their three sons. Michael is also an author with a best-selling book Taking Your Back to the Future: How to get a pain-free back and total health with chiropractic care. He also has written two novels: The Lost El Dorado (a treasure hunt adventure) and its sequel The Return to the Lost El Dorado (coming out fall 2020). His author website is michaelgazdar.com.
Teri grew up in San Lorenzo and worked at Safeway for 17 years. She became a full-time mom when their 2nd son was born, and later a home school teacher to all three of their boys, Christian, Brandon and Jonathan, whom she home-schooled through 8th grade.
Baseball runs deep in the Gazdar family. Michael coached all three sons from Tee-ball through Walnut Creek Little League and Walnut Creek PONY, a total of 17 years. All three boys then played baseball for Northgate High School and went on to play in college. Teri has cheered from the stands for over 20 years, and has more years still to come!
Christian graduated from Northgate High School in 2012. After playing on Northgate’s baseball team for four years, he went on to play at Napa Valley College and Chapman University. He married his high school sweetheart, Carlie Jochner, in 2019. He works as a fitness manager at Crunch Fitness in San Francisco and also at the Jochner family winery in Walnut Creek, Shadowbrook Winery.
Brandon, 24, went on to play baseball at Los Medanos College after his time on Northgate’s baseball team. He hurt his shoulder, which ended his baseball career. But luckily he had another sport he loves: golf. He now shares his time between working for Taylor Made Golf and perfecting his game in order to make it onto one of the professional golf tours.
Jonathan just graduated with the class of 2020, the year that graduates walked across the sports field with only 9 other classmates, spaced 6 feet apart. He will be attending San Jose State this fall, playing on their baseball team. Both Jonathan and Brandon danced in Northgate’s Dance Production class. They enjoyed the dancing, but believed that it also helped them with their footwork for playing the infield.
Two lovable dogs round out the family. First is 8-year-old Simba, a Labradoodle named after the adorable cub in The Lion King. Then there’s Drake, a 6-year-old Siberian Husky who is Simba’s best friend.
The Gazdars enjoyed trips to Disneyland and The Monterey Bay Aquarium when the boys were younger, but as baseball became a huge part of their lives, their vacations became centered around baseball tournaments in Southern California and Arizona. In 2018 they all enjoyed a trip to Kauai to celebrate Christian’s engagement to Carlie.
Their home on Northgate Road is located on the previous horse ranch owned by the Warren family. They built it from scratch in 1999, moving here from Danville. As Michael says, “We love our neighborhood. All of our neighbors are nice; we all celebrate holidays and special occasions together and also comfort each other through the hard times. We also watch each other’s backs and know when there are cars in the neighborhood that maybe shouldn’t be there. The Walnut Creek community is really strong and is there for each other.” Sounds like moving to Northgate was a grand slam!
By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991