John Toomey was a top semi-pro pitcher of his era. In his first three seasons after returning from World War II, he played for the Elgin Post 57 American Legion team and posted a record of 34-11 with many multiple strikeout games, including a one-hit 24 strikeout performance in a nine inning game. He pitched the Elgin Athletic Club to second place nationally in 1948 and was named an All-State player by the National Baseball Congress. In addition, he pitched the American Legion team to the 1950 state title. Toomey signed two minor league contracts during his career, one with the Chicago Cubs and another with the Chicago White Sox. He pitched for the Ludwig All-Stars and the Elgin VFW, at that time two of the premier semi-pro teams in the area. During one season, Toomey had 130 strikeouts in 115 innings and only 23 walks while several times striking out 12 to 20 batters in consecutive games. In his career, John pitched against such famous traveling teams as the Kansas City Monarchs, with James "Cool Papa" Bell, the House of David, the East Chicago Giants, the Indianapolis Clowns, and the Harlem Globetrotters.