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One month after the destruction of downtown Fairbanks, it was a game of baseball that convinced the town to rebuild.
After retiring from coaching, Barber spent the last 30 years as a member of the Goldpanners organization, serving on the Board of Directors and as the head of field maintenance.
The Midnight Sun Game always draws media attention from around the world. The 111th edition of the game was no exception, with media coverage based in Alaska, the continental United States and also in foreign countries. Radio Canada had one of the most impressive pieces on the game, elevating the status of the event to being on par with Brexit and Lebron James’ NBA championship.
Perhaps the most impressive coverage came from TIME Magazine, which highlighted the contest in its list of key summer events. Alongside the article was a beautiful picture of the game taken by Goldpanners intern Tal Norvell.
The eight-starred Alaskan state flag serves as the centerfield backdrop at Fairbanks’ Growden Memorial Park, home of the Goldpanners and the Midnight Sun Game — Near midnight on each summer solstice, the game — which begins at 10:30 p.m. with no use of artificial lights, and is the signature event of the Alaskan Baseball League — is interrupted for a ceremony that includes the signing of the state song, “Alaska’s Flag”. The song’s last two lines are: “Alaska’s flag–to Alaskans dear/ The simple flag of a last frontier.”
By Jim Caple
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Midnight Sun game is like most baseball games -except here the shadows are still creeping across the infield at close to 11 p.m.
“Nobody here knows if the lights have ever been turned on or not,” Alaska Goldpanners manager Ed Cheff said, squinting through the golden sunlight at the light towers at Growden Park. “The rumor is that they might not even work. I know they’ve never been on in the four years I’ve been here. You talk to the locals about the lights and they just laugh and say, ‘Yeah, we don’t know about them, either.'” Continue reading “2005: ESPN at the Midnight Sun game”