Joe Cotton was an 18th round selection (526th overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft out of Bowling Green State University.
Cotton pitched in the Phillies organization for five seasons with his best season coming in 1999 with Reading where he was 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
In 2001, Cotton joined the Oakland A's organization was assigned to Double-A Midland where he went 6-1 with a 2.77 ERA.
Cotton joined the Ducks for the 2003 season, and went 0-4 with a 4.10 ERA.
In 2004, Cotton had a career year for the Ducks going 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 2 saves in 42.1 innings pitched. He was a major part of the Ducks bullpen, which helped them win the 2004 Atlantic League Championship.
After the 2004 season Cotton retired from baseball.
CM: Favorite Baseball player?
JC: My favorite player would have to be broken into former and current, so Pete Rose and Chase Utley.
CM: If you could play catch with one person dead or alive, who would it be?
JC: That would be my Grandfather. He was in his mid 70's when I was born so we never got to play catch. He was a huge baseball fan.
CM: You made it to AAA, but never to the majors what are your thoughts on that?
JC: I kind of disappointed that I never got a shot at the big leagues. I put together a few great seasons in Double-A and I was just not in the right place at the right time. My thought was always, "I get all those prospects out in the minor leagues so why would that change in the big leagues? However, I'm very grateful and blessed for the chance to play the game I love for I long as I did.
CM: How did you become a Duck?
JC: Don McCormack was a coach in Phillies system when I was there and years later when I was released by Oakland he gave me a call to come join the Ducks. There were a lot ex-Phillies that Don brought on board.
CM: 2004 was such a special season, what was your favorite moment?
JC: My favorite moment was the final out in Camden to win the Championship. It was a moment I'll never forget, mainly because it was the last baseball game I ever played in. That season I played hurt and ended up having rotator cuff surgery a few months later which ended my career. It was a great way to go out though.
CM: 2004 was also a breakout season for yourself, you were 5-1 with a 1.98 era, what contributed to your success that season?
JC: It was a great season for our team and me individually. I had some great years in High-A and Double-A so I knew I could perform at a high level, but it was just one of those years that everything went my way. When I did miss my spots or when I got hit around the ball somehow ended up in someones glove for an out. We had a great defensive team and two catchers that called a good game....that's always a plus (laughing out loud).
CM: Who was your favorite teammate with the Ducks?
JC: I loved all my Duck teammates but if I most choose it would be Rusty McNamara and Jason Johnson. We all came up in the Phillies organization and became pretty close. Rusty and I were roommates on the road and at home for many seasons in the minors. He's like a brother to me. Jason is a great family man and was always a true mentor spiritually for me.
CM: You played 2 seasons for the Ducks (2003 and 2004), When you left what were your feelings toward Ducks fans?
JC: The Duck fans were(are) great..hands down the best fans I played for in my career. I was very proud to help bring home a championship for them in 2004
CM: Since you've retired from baseball, what are you doing?
JC: I've coached at some baseball academies and coached along with Rusty for the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods league in 2009. Our squad won the championship that year and Rusty was named "Manager of the Year," and I received "Coach of the Year" for our efforts.
Currently I run the loss prevention program for Home Depot in Clearwater Florida. I'm married to my beautiful wife Amy and we have two handsome boys, James (10 )and Michael (7)