Home Sports JB's Sports Blog Michael Lang Retires, Jose Sermo Signs in Japan

Michael Lang Retires, Jose Sermo Signs in Japan


Sioux City, IA (April 4th, 2022)  The Sioux City Explorers have announced that OF Michael Lang is retiring and INF Jose Sermo has signed with the Musashi Bears of the Baseball Challenge League, an independent baseball league in Japan. 

For the last few seasons when Explorers fans came to the ballpark there were a few constants that they could count on. Fun atmosphere, a delicious hot dog and Michael Lang and Jose Sermo being in the lineup. In 2022 the atmosphere will still be fun and the hot dogs will still be delicious, but Lang and Sermo will not be in the X’s starting nine. 

Michael Lang began his Explorers career a decade ago in 2012 after going undrafted out of Rutgers. By the end of his time in a Sioux City uniform, Lang’s name stands atop most of the Sioux City career records. 

In eight seasons with the club Lang leads the franchise in games played (588), hits (680), runs (462), doubles (114), triples (33), total bases (963), at bats (2,308), plate appearances (2,626), hit by pitch (255) and strikeouts (522). 

He also leaves as the X’s career leader in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) at 18.66. 

His 720 career American Association hits ranks him seventh all time in the league’s history. 

Over his X’s career, Lang has hit for a .295 career average and has swatted 35 home runs and driven in 256 RBI. For the X’s he ranks third in the career RBI and seventh in home runs.

The now 33 year old outfielder played 50 games in his final season, hitting for a .220 batting average with a homer, eight RBI, eight doubles and six stolen bases.

Lang was also a part of the two best teams that Sioux City has seen play at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark park as he was a main catalyst on the league record, 75 win club of 2015. That season he tied a then team record with 10 triples and set a single season record with 45 stolen bases, a number that still stands today. He also hit for a .343 average over 81 games. 

The New Jersey native was also a big piece of the 2018, 71 win squad where he played in all 100 games, hitting .304 with nine home runs and scored 82 runs.

After the conclusion of the 2021 season there is no debating who the home run king of Sioux City, Iowa is anymore. It is Jose Sermo. 

Sermo put together a historical season launching baseballs at a rate never before seen in the usual pitcher friendly confines of Mercy Field. He set a new X’s single season record swatting 29 home runs passing Kevin Garner’s 27. A mark that had stood since 1997. 

While blasting those 29 home runs, Sermo also passed Explorers legend Nolan Lane who’s 57 career home runs have been at the top of the record book since 1998. Sermo finished his time in Sioux City with 64 dingers. 

What makes the feat even more impressive is that Sermo reached the summit in 229 fewer games than it took for Nolan Lane to accumulate his total. If Sermo played the same amount of games as Nolan Lane (469) he would have been on pace to finish with 108 home runs as an Explorer. 

The 31 year old infielder’s name on a lineup card put fear into the opposition last season. He hit for a .298 average, 20 doubles, three triples, 86 RBI, 78 runs scored and 18 swiped bags. Sermo also led the league in walks with 88 as well as OBP (.457) and slugging (.667). 

In 2018 he gave X’s another MVP worthy performance and was rewarded with the American Association Player of the Year award. After being released by Winnipeg early in the campaign, Sermo ended up playing 87 games with Sioux City. He hit .317 with 22 homers, 81 RBI, 22 doubles, five triples, and 24 stolen bases. At the time he became the third player in league history to have a 20/20 season, and the first player in league history to accomplish a season of 20 homers, stolen bases and doubles. 

At the end of his three seasons with the club Sermo played in 278 games, collected 287 hits for a .290 batting average, 244 RBI, 65 doubles, 63 stolen bases and 208 runs scored. 

The Sioux City Explorers 30th year in Siouxland will begin at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 17 versus the Lake Country DockHounds. Season, Group and Single Game Tickets are now all on sale and can be purchased by calling (712) 277-9467.