John Stefanik is Bartlett High School’s version of the Splendid Splinter.
The sweet swinging left-handed batter hit .400 in 1941, his senior season, when the Indians baseball team went undefeated. John also played basketball and football at Bartlett. But his passion was, and still is, baseball.
After graduation in 1941, John attended what was then known as Nichols Junior College where he played baseball. Later, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he continued playing on baseball teams when not on duty. He also played baseball in a college league in New Hampshire and Vermont.
But the highlight of his love affair with the National Pastime came when he had the opportunity to play professional baseball. John played four years in the minors including seasons in the Colonial League, Carolina League, and Florida International League. On one of those stops, he was a teammate of Earl Weaver, who later would become manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
In the mid-1970s, John and Earl swapped stories and reminisced into the wee hours of the morning after a Boston Baseball Writers dinner in Boston. Weaver had been one of the speakers for the event, and John seized the chance to rekindle memories.
John is retired now, after he and his wife, Barbara, owned and operated Andy’s Restaurant and Bar on East Main Street for several years. John and Barbara have four sons and a daughter: Gregory, 48; Mark, 47; Jeffrey, 42; Christopher, 41; and Angela, 37.