Born in Washington County, Minnesota, on October 21, 1864, Lohman was 39 years old when the Pacific Coast League was formed in 1903, and as a veteran catcher and manager of the Oakland Baseball Club, which had won the California League championship in 1902, he was chosen to manage the team in the first season of the newly formed Pacific Coast League.
Oakland opened its first PCL season in Sacramento. Local businesses closed at 2 p.m. so their workers could attend the event. Governor George Pardee was on hand among the 3000 fans that watched Sacramento defeat Lohman's Oaks 7-3.
Under Lohman, Oakland finished its first season in last place, 89 - 126, 46 games behind Los Angeles. He managed the team for only one more year, but continued as a player for the team for the next two years under manager George Van Haltren.