Sioux City, IA – The Sioux City Explorers have announced that free agent shortstop Nate Samson will not be returning to the team for the 2020 season. Rather he has signed a contract and will be playing in the Mexican League.
Samson, played out his option during the Explorers 2019 season, in which he helped guide the team to a 57-43 record and a spot in the postseason for the fourth time in five years. He kept the same elite level of play Explorers fans have grown accustomed to seeing in the middle of both the infield and the lineup. In 2019 Samson earned American Association Postseason All-Star honors as well as participating in the All-Star Game for the South Division. He hit .324 with six homers and 67 RBI, 60 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.
Over his five years in Sioux City, Samson firmly entrenched himself into the upper echelon of Explorers greats as one can find his name near the top of many offensive categories in the Explorers record books. He has played in the third most games in franchise history at 408. His 541 career hits with Sioux City now sit second behind Michael Lang’s 642. He is second in both RBI with 274 and doubles with 95. In his five seasons with the team he has hit for a .332 average, stolen 95 bases and has struck out only 98 times compared to his 149 walks. He has twice set the X’s single season record for hits. Breaking Noah Perio’s record in 2016 with 137 and then breaking his own in 2018 with 141 while also winning the batting title that year with a .340 average. In 2016 Samson also became the first ever Sioux City Explorer to win the league MVP award.
“We want to thank Nate for his great years in Sioux City and wish him nothing but the best going forward.” Said Explorers manager Steve Montgomery, “He was one of the best professionals I have had the pleasure to work with both on and off the field.”
Explorers fans will be seeing someone different play shortstop on opening day for the first time since 2015 when the X’s open up the 2020 season on May 19th in Kansas City. Fans will get their first look at the team when the Explorers host their home opener on May 26th against the Sioux Falls Canaries.