John Stearns Biography, MLB Career, Age, Family, Spouse and Net Worth

This article will answer every question you have about John Stearns. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about him.

  1. What does John Stearns do for a living?
  2. Who are John Stearns’s parents and siblings?
  3. What are John Stearns’s interests and hobbies?
  4. Is John Stearns married or does John Stearns have a girlfriend/ boyfriend?
  5. Does John Stearns have any children?
  6. Where is John Stearns now?
  7. How tall is John Stearns?
  8. How much money does John Stearns earn?
  9. What is John Stearns’s net worth?

N/B: Please read the entire post to have all your questions answered.

 Who is John Stearns?

John Hardin Stearns nicknamed ”Bad Dude” was a famous American professional baseball catcher and coach who played in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the New York Mets from 1975 to 1984 following playing a single game for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1974.

Stearns was also a two-sport star in college, and he joined professional baseball following being picked in both the MLB and National Football League drafts. John was a four-time MLB All-Star but struggled with injuries in the latter portion of his career. Following his retirement as a player, he served as a coach for the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Mets of MLB, and in Minor League Baseball.

John Stearns Career

Playing career

Early career (1973-1974)

His professional career began with the Reading Phillies of the Class AA Eastern League in 1973. Following batting only .241 for Reading, Stearns was demoted to the Rocky Mount Phillies of the High-A Carolina League for 1974 and batted .343 in 64 games. Mid-season, he was then promoted directly to the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class AAA International League. He later batted .266 for Toledo and was promoted to the major leagues in September. Stearns made his major league breakout and picked up his first hit, going 1-for-2 off the bench on September 22, 1974.

New York Mets (1975-1980)

His first game with the Phillies turned out to be his final. With budding prospect, Bob Boone firmly entrenched behind the plate for Philadelphia, and John became expendable. On December 3, 1974, he was then traded together with Mac Scarce and Del Unser from the Phillies to the New York Mets for Don Hahn, Dave Schneck, and Tug McGraw at the Winter Meetings.

In Stearns’s first season as a Met, he spent 1975 as the backup catcher for veteran Jerry Grote, the Mets’ regular catcher since 1966. As his backup, John batted just .189 in 1975. In 1976, he hit poorly in limited time and was soon replaced in the backup position by lefty hitter Ron Hodges. Stearns was then sent back to the Tidewater Tides and hit very well while Hodges struggled in the majors. He was then brought back to the majors for September and went on with his hot hitting. Stearns not only ousted Hodges but also took over the starting position from Grote for most of the rest of the season, with 18 hits in his first 13 games back.


He was then the starting catcher for most of 1977, with Grote and Hodges relegated to backup and pinch-hitting roles. In July, he posted 2 games with 4 runs batted in consisting of the only grand slam of his career. His average stood at .314, with a slugging average of .554 on July 1. With John’s good mid-season statistics and the Mets firmly in last place in the National League East, he was picked as the team’s sole representative to the All-Star Game, catching the bottom of the 9th inning. The team traded Grote to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named later on August 31, 1977. John had a .125 average in August and a .167 average in September. Stearns’s 25 doubles were the most on the team and 12 home runs tied John Milner and Steve Henderson for the team lead.

A photo of John Stearns
A photo of John Stearns

How old is John Stearns?

John Hardin Stearns died of cancer on September 15, 2022, at the age of 71 in Denver, Colorado. He was born on August 21, 1951, in Denver, Colorado. Stearns shared his birthday with celebrities such as Jack Buck, Melvin Van Peebles, Wilt Chamberlain, Kenny Rogers, Usain Bolt, Robert Lewandowski, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eve Torres, and Loretta Devine, among others.

John Stearns Family

Who are John Stearns’s parents?

John Hardin Stearns was born in Denver, Colorado to his parents. He had not shared any information about his family and parents with the media prior to his demise.

Does John Stearns have siblings?

Stearns had kept his family and personal life very private and had not shared any information about his siblings with the media.

John Stearns Education

Stearns joined Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Colorado, where he played three sports, baseball, football, and basketball. He then opted to enroll at the University of Colorado Boulder despite being picked in the 13th round of the 1969 Major League Baseball draft by the Oakland Athletics.

John Stearns Interests

Stearns took part in three sports in high school and won the state championships in baseball and basketball. He also played football, becoming a two-sport star for the Colorado Buffaloes. He was later drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 17th round of the 1973 NFL Draft, and the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round, with the 2nd overall pick in the 1973 Major League Baseball draft. Stearns then decided to quit football and turn into professional baseball.

John Stearns Spouse

Stearns was married to his wife and soulmate, Martha Jo from the 1977 season to his death. The couple was happily married with one child in their marriage and resided in Denver, Colorado.

John Stearns Children

Stearns and his loving wife, Jo have one child together in their marriage before his death in 2022. The couple has one son, named Justin Stearns.

John Stearns Height

Stearns had a well-built, athletic, and physically fit body adding up to a height of 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) and a weight of 83 kg (185 lbs).


Although he had a poor average and just 2 runs batted in during April, he set career highs in home runs, runs batted in, runs, and total bases in 1978. Stearns led the team with a career-high 25 stolen bases, and in the process broke the National League record for caught, which was held by Johnny Kling since 1902. In 1980, he hit no home runs, although his average was mostly between .300 and .320 from early May to the end of June. At Shea Stadium, Montreal Expos rookie Bill Gullickson sailed a pitch over Mets first baseman Mike Jorgensen’s head in the second game of a doubleheader. Mike didn’t appreciate this as he had been the victim of one of the worst beanball injuries in baseball history the previous season with the Texas Rangers.

John who wasn’t even in the line-up for the game charged out of the dugout and grabbed Gullickson from behind by the neck. Gullickson responded by clocking him in the face with three solid punches. Stearns was later picked to his third All-Star Game and even logged his first All-Star Game at-bat, grounding out in the 5th inning. A three-hit, three-runs batted in a game highlighted his July, although, after a week, a broken finger on a foul tip halted his season on July 26.

Injuries (1981-1986)

The injury that ended his 1980 season was the first of several injuries that he would suffer for the rest of his career. He began 1981 on the disabled list. Following missing the first 2 weeks, he was eased back with pinch-hitting duty and played at first and third base. Stearns began catching regularly again in late May and was hitting fairly well when the 1981 Major League Baseball strike canceled 2 months of the season beginning in mid-June. Playing continued in mid-August and he completed with a respectable .271 average, but his run production decreased quite a bit from 1980 and he had only 14 extra-base hits all season.

In the 1982 season, his average was again at or above .300 for most of the first half. John was again on pace for around 40 doubles and even on pace for almost 30 stolen bases. He was then selected for his 4th All-Star Game at the age of 30. Stearns went on hitting well following the break, but after a month, started suffering the effects of elbow tendinitis. He was put on the disabled list in mid-August and only made 3 pinch-running appearances the remaining season. The elbow injury that ended his 1982 season finally ended his career. In 1983, Stearns was not able to begin the season and was put on the disabled list in mid-April. Not able to throw, he played in just 4 games, all as a pinch-runner.


Stearns spent some time with triple-A Tidewater and logged only one big league game in the first five months of 1984. Despite being well enough to play in September, he only played sporadically. Following the season, the Mets traded Mike Fitzgerald, Floyd Youmans, Hubie Brooks, and Herm Winningham to Montreal for Carter. John became a free agent and tried a comeback with the Winter League’s Ponce Lions until re-injuring his elbow. Another comeback with the Cincinnati Reds’ AAA Denver Zephyrs in 1985 was going well until John was hit by a pitch in mid-May. He then made one last attempt at a comeback with the Texas Rangers competing for a spot on their Opening Day roster in spring training in 1986.

Post-playing career

The Milwaukee Brewers hired him as a scout and minor league instructor in late 1986. He was then the New York Yankees’ bullpen coach in 1989. Stearns was hired by the Toronto Blue Jays as the manager of the AA-level Knoxville Blue Jays for 1990 and 1991, reaching the post-season in the latter season. He then spent 1992 as a Cincinnati Reds scout and 1993 as an ESPN broadcaster. John went back to the Reds as the manager of their rookie-level team, the Princeton Reds, in 1994. The team earned the Appalachian League championship and he was named Manager of the Year. He then managed the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League and won his second minor league championship of the year.

Stearns was added to the Reds coaching staff during the 1995 campaign by manager Davey Johnson, who defied team owner Marge Schott’s refusal to pay the salary of another coach. Schott was oblivious about the situation because it was never mentioned to her presence and John wore a jersey without his name on the back. On January 5, 1996, he was announced as the first base coach on Johnson’s staff with the Baltimore Orioles. Stearns exited the Orioles after two years in January 1998, when he was not kept by Ray Miller who had taken up the position of manager.


John went back to the New York Mets as an advance scout in 1999, and later made their bench coach in 2000. Stearns was released following the season but re-hired as the third base coach. Following two years coaching the major league Mets, he was released, but then hired as a scout for 2002. He later came back to the dugout as Manager of the Binghamton Mets in 2003. Although he had a poor record with AA Binghamton, he was made the manager of the AAA Norfolk Tides for 2004. He spent 2005 as a roving catching instructor for the Mets. John became a coach in the Washington Nationals farm system on January 11, 2006. He spent 1 season as manager of their triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, and spent 2 seasons as manager of the Nationals’ double-A team, the Harrisburg Senators.

John then joined the Mariners as minor-league catching coordinator in 2011, and later in 2012 served as a professional scout. He was named the interim manager for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers following Daren Brown replacing third-base coach Jeff Datz in his position because of Datz’s cancer diagnosis on May 2, 2013. John was then maned the Mariners’ third base coach for the 2014 season. But he underwent surgery for a hiatal hernia before spring training and his slower-than-expected recovery forced him to resign on March 7, 2014. Stearns stayed in the Mariners’ organization, but as a scout for the 2014 season. Following attending a memorial service for his high school baseball coach in 2015, John stated that he was not sure how he would be involved with baseball again.

Illness and Death

Stearns was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer in July 2022. Although he was diagnosed, he was well enough to attend the Mets’ Old Timers’ Day at Citi Filed on August 27. He then died less than three weeks later of cancer on September 15, 2022.

John Stearns Net Worth

American professional baseball catcher and coach, Stearns was active in Major League Baseball from 1974 to 2014, when he retired as a coach. He had garnered an estimated net worth of around $6 million as of his death in 2022.

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