Jim pitched three years for Field High School before becoming one of the nation's outstanding college pitchers at West Virginia University. During the summers of his high school days, he pitched for Brimfield in the Portage County League and then with the Black Labels in Akron. He put the knowledge and experience gained with the Labels to good use at West Virginia University where he was recognized in the nation's top 20 pitchers. During the 1966 and 1967 season he had a combined record of 45 and 16 with a 2.31 ERA. Returning to Akron he pitched for Ninos, Dairy Queen, Pfeifle Funeral Home, Erhart, and the Black Labels. He moved to Canton, playing in the Canton AA League with such success, that in 1992 he was inducted into the "Greater Stark County Baseball Hall of Fame." Throughout his baseball playing days, he led the league in innings pitched several times and had the league's lowest ERA on three occasions, plus the most wins. He was a member of 10 All-Star Teams and played on 11 championship teams.