John J Gracio

grac1John J. Gracio was born in New York City. John’s family moved to Spokane, Washington where he attended school until enlisting in the US Navy in 1957.

John has always been passionate about education, and in 1980 he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois after proudly serving the country for 21 years. He often speaks to the young student-athlete’s in his organization about the importance of education and how baseball can assist them in achieving a college degree. While in the Navy from 1957 to 1978, John played baseball, softball and football.  In 1965, John went through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUDS) Training to become a Navy Frogman.

After retiring from the Navy in 1978, he coached baseball and football at Central Catholic High School in Astoria, Oregon and was hired to be the baseball coach and physical education teacher at Marian Catholic High School in San Diego.  In 1982, he became a part time minor league scout for the New York Mets. In 1983, he moved on to the Junior College level and was an Assistant Baseball Coach at Grossmont Junior College in San Diego where he helped guide a talented team to the Southern Division Championship.  In 1983, John moved from the Mets to the Chicago Cubs organization and through 1984 he worked as a part time scout in the San Diego area. In 1994, John relocated to Arizona and became a full time scout until his retirement from the Cubs in November, 2004.

While working for the Cubs, he supervised eight part time and associate scouts in the Four Corners area, organized and supervised fall scout teams, and conducted free agent tryout camps in California, Arizona and New Mexico.  During the summer months, John was responsible for pro scout coverage throughout the country.

After retiring from the Cubs, John was hired by the Los Angeles Angels in 2004 to scout Arizona and New Mexico as an Area Scout. During this time, he also moved his High School Scout Team Program from the Cubs to the Angels where this program flourished under his supervision and guidance until he retired from the Angels. John placed many of the players in the program into colleges and universities around the country. He has also helped moved those that are good enough on to the pro level. In 2017 upon his retirement from the Angels Mr. Gracio renamed  the academy from the scout program to the Angels Amateur Baseball Academy and it has proven very helpful in selecting players for the Colleges Coaches who come out to watch the players in his Academy that are academically qualified to attend their Colleges.

Mr. Gracio is a member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Players, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and U.S. Navy Fleet Reserve. He is passionate about helping each of the student athletes in the program to move to the next level of play whether it be the college ranks or on to professional baseball.