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Saturday, August 27, 2022

Nolan Lane played over 13 pro seasons, made AA; Became fan favorite with independent Sioux City

Nolan Lane had a big night for independent Sioux City in this June 1993 game as he picked up four hits, scored three times and stole two bases, The Sioux Falls Argus-Leader wrote.

"I felt real comfortable, and real tired," Lane told The Argus-Leader afterward. "I think that helped because being tired made me feel real relaxed."

Lane arrived at Sioux City that year for his sixth pro season. He'd earlier played in affiliated ball and made it to AA. His comfort at Sioux City, however, continued as he became a fan favorite over five more campaigns, for six in all.

Lane's pro career began in 1989, taken by the Indians in the 14th round of the draft out of St. Xavier University in Illinois.

Lane started with the Indians at rookie Burlington. He hit .265 over 65 games. He stole 14 bases. 

Lane moved to high-A Kinston for 1990, then Kinston and AA Canton-Akron for 1991. He hit .245 in 74 games at Canton-Akron.

He played 15 games in 1992 at Canton-Akron, then played the rest of the year at independent high-A Fort Myers. He hit .215 in 94 games there. 

In a May 1992 game for Fort Myers, Lane made two extra-base-hit-saving running catches, The Fort Myers News-Press wrote.

"I wasn't hitting the ball real well, so I had to make sure nobody else got a hit either," Lane told The News-Press. "We have to hit, and if you're not hitting, you have to field well."

Lane then arrived in Sioux City for 1993 - and didn't leave for next six seasons. He hit .308 with 23 stolen bases his first year there. In 1997, he hit .320 and .313 in 1998. He stole 20 or more bases in five of his seasons, 30 or more in three.

He played 1999 in Winnipeg, then played 2001 and 2002 at independent Tyler, Schaumburg and Gary to round out his career.

But there was his time in Sioux City. In 2017, as the team celebrated its 25th anniversary, The Sioux City Journal caught up with notable Explorers and Lane was the first they featured.

"My very good memories of Sioux City were the people of Sioux City," Lane told The Journal then. "From the fans to the business owners, the way they came out and supported us each and every night was phenomenal."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,011
Made the Majors:1,334-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,677-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:547
10+ Seasons in the Minors:330-X

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