In the youth leagues John intimidated the other teams of the Cuyahoga Falls-Stow area with his hitting and pitching. He compiled a no-hitter, several one and two-hit games and was voted the League's best pitcher. Moving into the high school circles he became an outfielder at Hoban High School. At Hoban, he won four letters and was named to two All-City teams. At Kent State University he continued to excel, hitting over .300 and earning four letters. He began playing Akron AA League baseball in 1973 with Bolin Oil. He also played with the Acme Ash and Akron Insulating teams. While a member of the Akron Insulating team in 1976 he was presented with the prestigious "Frank Garcia Memorial Award," earning it by having a career year as he led the league in hits, runs, homeruns, walks and stolen bases. He was named to three league All-Star teams. His stellar play resulted in a pro contract with the San Francisco Giants in the California Scout League in 1977. He went to spring training with the Giant AA Team at Casa Grande. He returned to Ohio for a try-out with the Cincinnati Reds, however soon after that John opted for the ministry and is founder and pastor of his own church "Word of His Grace" in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.