Mike grew up on the east side, attending East High, where he was All-City in football and baseball and led East to titles in both sports. He developed into an outstanding power hitter and defensive outfielder with speedy base-stealing talents. He first joined the AA League in 1953 with Old Dutch Beer, and followed with a crack at pro ball with the Cardinals organization until a shoulder injury sent him home to play with Howe Construction in 1955. He then played for the tough Krispy Kreme clubs and finished his Akron career with the legendary Black Labels in 1961, a team that won 69 games. Mike always hit around .400 and won the coveted Garcia Award in 1957 when he hit .420 and led the Akron All-Stars to a 9-2 win over Canton in the first game of that series. After leaving Akron for a flying career with the U.S. Air Force, including six years of service play, he led the Greater Boston Park League with a .437 average and his Connolly Club team to the title in 1964; was an All-Star selection in 1967 while hitting .487 for Howard AFB, Panama; and ended his career in 1969 for the champion Hickam AFB Flyers in Hawaii.