The night he graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1953, John signed a major league baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a two-sport athlete at Rice Lake for 3 years in baseball and football. He struck out 92 batters on his 95 mph fastball for an average of 13 per game and allowed only 6 walks for the year. The right-hander led the Warriors to the Heart O’ The North Conference Championship with a 6 and 0 record and an overall record of 8 and 1. In spring training of 1954 he pulled a tendon in his arm and was sent to St. Louis for a month to heal and pitch batting practice for the Cardinals, which included Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst. In 1956, the Brooklyn Dodgers purchased his contract and John pitched for Great Falls, Montana, a Class A Farm Team in the Pioneer League. In 1957 he led Cedar Rapids of the Three I League with 12 victories before a rotator cuff injury sidelined him. Although plagued by arm problems during the final three years of his career, John pitched an average of 180 innings per season and compiled 44 wins with an ERA under 3.00. In 1993, John retired from education after 33 years as a teacher, coach and principal.