BY JEFF FALK
During the 1970s 1980s and 1990s, no sport dominated the local landscape – especially during the summer months – like men’s fast-pitch softball. And no family was more integral in that sports’ popularity than the Lutz clan.
On Wednesday, Irv, one of the most influential members of the Lutz family, passed away. He was 58.
For the past few years, Lutz battled the effects of diabetes and was relegated to a wheel chair by the affliction. As a player, coach and manager, Lutz was instrumental in the Country House-South Lebanon-Risser’s Restaurant-TNT Sanitation franchise’s success locally, regionally and nationally.
In 2003, Lutz, a graduate of Elco high school, was inducted into the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport. Lutz’s immediate family members, Hal, Barry, Lee, Clint, Andrew and Matthew all contributed heavily to local fast-pith softball.
Last year, Prescott Field, the long-time home of the Country House/South Lebanon franchise, was renamed ‘The Lutz Family Field’ to honor those contributions.
In 2007, Irv Lutz’s South Lebanon/TNT Sanitation club went 8-0 and won the International Softball Congress II championship in Kitchener, Ontario. But Lutz was unable to attend because of his diabetes.
That title was perhaps the last hurrah for men’s fast-pitch softball locally, as the sport’s popularity over the last decade has waned considerably.