Joe Lotz was known as an ironman pitcher in the midwest for many years. Originally from Remson Iowa, he attended Creighton where he was first noticed by Pa Rourke, owner of Omaha in the Western League. The 19 year old pitched in some fast semi-pro leagues during the 1910 season. Newspaper reports indicate that he had 36 strike outs in a 20 inning game in Pomeroy Iowa during that season.
After playing for Pa Rourke in 1911 and 1912 he was farmed out to Kearney in the Nebraska State League in 1912.
In 1912, he pitched for Kearney and had a 26-9 record. He was 16-14 in 1913.
Pa sold his contract to Oshkosh for the 1914 season. After a 24-9 season with Oshkosh his stock rose to that of a major league prospect. His contract was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lotz started the 1915 seasonwith the Cardinals but was sent to Seattle. He had a 2-7 record with Seattle in the Northwestern League and he played in August for an independent Oskosh team in August.
In 1916 he had a short stint with the Cardinals. He was 0-3 in 12 games.
In 1917 he was with Rochester in the International League.
He returned to pitch for Sioux City in the Western League for 1921 and 1922 and had a long run of success pitching for many different town teams for many years.
His son Jack Lotz was signed to a professional contract in 1935. He played for Brainerd in the Northern League. His dad "Smoky Joe" was still pitching in the Sioux City area, commanding $100.00 per game as an arm for hire. Jack pitched for Sioux City in 1936 and 1937 and wound up in the PCL in the 1940's.
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