John attended West Junior-Senior High School being graduated in June of 1956. During his three years in senior high he played varsity baseball and basketball earning All-City and All-State honors in baseball. He also served as president of the West High School Student Council. Following high school, he entered the engineering program at The Ohio State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1963. While at Ohio State John lettered in varsity baseball as a sophomore and was second team All-Big Ten in 1958.
Professional baseball came calling, and John signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1959. He was the catcher for the Reds from 1961-1967 winning Gold Glove Awards in 1963 and 1964. John played in three All-Star games for the National League in 1963, 1964 and 1965. In the World Series in 1961 against the New York Yankees, he hit .367. John was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968, and that year played again in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. In 1969 he was traded to the Houston Astros and caught for the Astros through 1974. John set a major league record for putouts by catchers in 1970. He also played for over a year without committing an error. John retired from baseball in the spring of 1975.
During his major league baseball career, John put his engineering degree to use as a Research Engineer at the General Electric Nuclear Materials and Propulsion Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1970-1974 he was the Quality Engineering Manager for Cameron Ironworks in Houston, Texas. He was Operations Manager for the Critical Service Product Line for Cameron in Houston. In 1992 he was named Vice-President for C.T.C. International in Houston and remained in that capacity until 1995. When Baker-Hughes purchased C.T.C. in 1995, John became Plant Manager. He retired in February of 2002.
John and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 46 years. She serves as an Administrative Coordinator in the Spring Branch Independent School District. They have two children – son, David and daughter, Lori and grandchildren Chase, Alex, Brooke, Taylor, and Sydney.