Year Inducted – 1993

He was a classy shortstop who could hit and run with anyone. He came out of Barberton High School to play with the Firestone Locals in the Akron Industrial League. He moved to the Killian Celtics where he played in the N.B.F. tournaments in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, PA and Birmingham, AL. He played with the Akron Yankee Jrs. and then with the Sunset Parks (Barberton) team. While with the Sunset Parks, Johnny had 11 hits in 19 at bats in a Sunday/Monday doubleheader: 3-H.R., 1-triple, 1-double, 6-singles. In 1937 Johnny (playing for Sunset Parks), was voted the Suburban District winner of the “Greatest Sandlotter” contest held by the Times-Press. A total of 43,694 votes were cast in the contest. That got him a pro contract with the New York Yankee organization. An arm injury ended his pro aspirations. Returning to Akron he played on the Smith Sheriffs, Columbia Chemical, Koerber Beer, and Goodyear Wingfoot teams and was named on several All-Star teams. He later teamed with (1987) Hall of Famer Denny Galehouse and (1991) Hall of Famer Chuck Bloedorn in running a baseball clinic. His ability to convey baseball knowledge to youngsters was exceptional. His untimely death at age 74 in a Florida auto accident in January 1989 was a great loss to our game.