Ganzel led NL first basemen in putouts, fielding, and total chances per game in 1901 with the Giants, but hit a mere .215. He improved to career bests of .277, 71 RBI, and 61 runs with the Highlanders (later the Yankees) in 1903 and again led league first basemen in fielding and total chances per game. After another good year in 1904, when his six HR tied for fourth in the AL and the Highlanders lost the pennant on the last day of the season, he bought the Grand Rapids (Western League) club, and the next winter he paid the Highlanders (later the Yankees) $3,000 for his release so he could play for it. Returning to the majors in 1907, he led the NL with 19 triples for Cincinnati. He was player-manager for the 1908 Reds, and again led NL first base in fielding. While in the International League he was, at one time, the highest-paid minor league manager, earning $7,000 and a part of the profits.
John Ganzel was one of five brothers to play pro ball; one, Charlie, was a 14-year ML catcher. John’s nephew, Charlie’s son Babe Ganzel, played briefly for Washington in 1927-28.