Alaskan Baseball: Summer in the ABL | SI.com

Alaskan Baseball: Summer in the ABL

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.”

Source: Alaskan Baseball: Summer in the ABL | SI.com

2005: ESPN at the Midnight Sun game

By Jim Caple
ESPN.com

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”

2002 Midnight Sun Game

10:29 p.m. Time to slap on some more sunblock.  Moments ago, a brisk breeze bulldozed the low, grey clouds and now the sun is blazing through.  The tightly wound crowd begins to chant: “Sun!  Sun!  Sun!”  The PA system blares cheerily, “Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter…”  The Midnight Sun Baseball Game is about to begin. Continue reading “2002 Midnight Sun Game”

2003: Baseball fun in the Midnight Sun (MLB)

By Joe Connor / MLB.com

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — It’s after Midnight on the Last Frontier, 160 miles south of the Arctic Circle, and some future Major Leaguers are playing wood-bat baseball at Growden Memorial Park without the assistance of artificial light — thanks to the sun.

The 48-year-old Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, the northernmost organized baseball club on planet earth, celebrated the Summer Solstice June 20 by hosting a travel team, the Ukiah Victory Dons from Mendicino, Calif., in the 98th annual “Midnight Sun game.” The Goldpanners, members of the six-team summer Alaska Baseball League (ABL) that prepares the nation’s top college players for a future in the Majors, topped Ukiah, 3-1, before a sold out crowd of 3,500 enthusiastic fans. It was the Goldpanners 11th straight Midnight Sun victory. Continue reading “2003: Baseball fun in the Midnight Sun (MLB)”

2006: Midnight Sun Game tonight

By MATIAS SAARI

Unless they get serious about baseball in Scandinavia or some other place near the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks will continue to have the market on games under the Midnight Sun just as it has for the past century.

“It’s unique. We’re the only people that have it,” said Don Dennis, the Alaska Goldpanners’ general manager since 1968. “Nobody else can do it.”

That’s because nobody else who has almost 22 hours of daylight on the summer solstice plays baseball regularly. And the other five Alaska Baseball League teams, the nearest 300 miles to the south, simply don’t have enough light to start a game at 10:30 p.m. and play it all the way through without flipping the switch for artificial lights. Continue reading “2006: Midnight Sun Game tonight”