JOHN “TOPP” TOPPI
AIA Football 1966-1991
NJCAA Football 1968-1991
Professional Football – Phoenix Blazer – Southwestern Football League – 2 years
Valley of the Sun – Junior College Football Bowl Game
Pop Warner Football
5 State Football Championship Games
Arizona Junior College Football and Baseball Conferences 1968-1991
PAC 10 Baseball 1966-1991
WAC - Western Athletic Conference Baseball 1966-1972
Inducted into the 2003 NJCAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame - 1 st Umpire ever to be inducted
High School Basketball 1968-1990
John Toppi was born on March 12, 1922 in Providence, Rhode Island. During his years at Mount Pleasant High School, John played baseball & basketball and graduated in 1941. He joined the US Navy in 1942 and was stationed on the USS Warrick ADA 89 and served during the invasion of Iwo Jima & Okinowa. Although John retired from Honeywell after 34 years of service he is still working part-time as a bus driver for Apollo High School.
John brought pride to Arizona officiating by becoming the first umpire to be inducted into the Junior College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame on May 23, 2003 at the JUCO World Series for the past 30 years and service as Director of Umpires for the last 15 years.
Known and respected for his love of sports, Topp brings an eternal smile, a quick wit and an endless supply of wisdom to the game. His incredible history spans the country from Arizona to Rhode Island where, as a young man, he played for Bridgeport in the Colonial League and for Grandby in the Provincial League.
Retired Major League umpire Ted Hendry once said of John Toppi “He represents a one of a kind athlete that makes baseball the great sport it is”. John is well known in the Valley of the sun for baseball; but his passion and talent doesn’t end there. He has officiated all levels of high school and junior college football and basketball. There is not a veteran coach or professional athlete from the state of Arizona who hasn’t in some way come to know, love and respect this exceptional man.
As an AIA football official from 1966-1991, Topp became a mentor and friend to every official on and off the field. Through 5 state championship games, John was known for his accuracy, fairness and unique sense of humor. Topp has exemplified the character and dedication of AZ officials in all areas of sports.
John’s wife Ann, son Jack, daughter Patti Bellew, and grandsons Jonathan and Patrick Bellew would like to Thank Larry Kindred and AzFOA Hall of Fame committee members for honoring this outstanding individual.