Played his youth ball in Cuyahoga Falls and became established as a strong righthanded pitcher and first baseman at Falls High. While there he posted a 15-1 record in 1962-63, was All-Inter City Conference (1962-63), All District (1963), before moving on to Bowling Green University as a pitcher-first baseman and clean-up hitter in 1964-65. He began AA ball with Blatz Beer 1964, played with champion Black Label and Akron Insulating teams and Barberton Weather Seal. As a starting pitcher and later as an excellent relief hurler, John was unbeatable from 1966 through 1976 as a relief hurler, never losing in those 11 years. He was named to six All-Star teams, including 1968 as a starter. John is another person who finds it hard to give up baseball, so he, too, joined the Senior League and was instrumental in the Akron Blues successful 20-0 season.