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”

2005: Sean Timmons enters Cooperstown

Alaskan native participates in 100th “Midnight Sun” game; jersey, cap heads to Hall of Fame

SAVANNAH, Ga.  Sean Timmons has made a name for himself in the Alaskan Baseball League over the last nine years, after finishing his playing career at Armstrong Atlantic in 1998. A reliever for two seasons for the Pirates, Timmons pitched in 42 games and compiled a 10-2 record with a 3.85 ERA in 121.2 innings pitched and continued to live and work in the Savannah area after his collegiate playing days were done. Continue reading “2005: Sean Timmons enters Cooperstown”

2005: Fans flock to annual classic

By ROBINSON DUFFY

The 100th anniversary Midnight Sun Baseball Game brought out thousands and thousands of die-hard baseball fans and sun worshippers Tuesday night.

But perhaps no fan made more of a sacrifice to be at the famous baseball game–the only game in the world to be played at midnight with no artificial lights–than Crieghton Beshears of Fairbanks.

“We made him take an extra long nap today,” the 3-year-old’s father, Rick Beshears, said. Continue reading “2005: Fans flock to annual classic”

1986: On Alaska’s long sunny evenings, you can watch some very good amateur baseball.

The “Midnight Sun’ game: On Alaska’s long sunny evenings, you can watch some very good amateur baseball.

SUNSET MAGAZINE
JUNE 1986

Alaskans love baseball. On long summer evenings and weekend days, everybody, it seems, plays softball. And when they’re not at bat or fielding, Alaskans fill hometown grandstands to watch the teams of the Alaska Baseball League play some of the best amateur hardball in the West. Continue reading “1986: On Alaska’s long sunny evenings, you can watch some very good amateur baseball.”

2005: Timmons finds his place in baseball history at Cooperstown

BY DERMOT COLE
FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER

EVERY BALLPLAYER dreams of making it to Cooperstown, where baseball preserves its past.

For Fairbanksan Sean Timmons, who started pitching in North Star Little League more than 20 years ago on fields carefully tended by the late Ken Rankin, the dream has come true.

His jersey and his Alaska Goldpanners hat are now part of a collection that includes nearly 35,000 items spanning the history of the game. Continue reading “2005: Timmons finds his place in baseball history at Cooperstown”

2008: Sports Illustrated: The Alaska Pipeline

A rugged, no-frills league in the Last Frontier State has funneled almost 400 college players to the majors and kept fans in Fairbanks up late each June with its quirky Midnight Sun Game

By Luke Winn
6/2008

“Remember to never take the game home with you.”
— Former major league closer Lee Smith, on how
a reliever can maintain his sanity

What, however, is a pitcher to do when his team’s bullpen is closer to his bed than it is to the dugout? That was the conundrum facing Kevin Camacho last summer on college baseball’s last frontier. At 2 a.m. on June 22, not long after the conclusion of the 102nd Midnight Sun Game, many of Camacho’s Alaska Goldpanners teammates mounted bicycles and rode off, still in full uniform. Continue reading “2008: Sports Illustrated: The Alaska Pipeline”

2007: Documentary crew set to return to ABL

TOUCHING THE GAME AWARD WINNING BASEBALL FILMS

Phone 617-775-8169
Email: jim@fieldsofvision.net

www.touchingthegame.com
Documentary crew set to return to ABL

Touching the Game, LLC, the film company producing the first full-length documentary on the Alaska Baseball League and it’s history, will be returning this summer to shoot some additional footage, with the HD film expected to be released in the summer of 2008. A short trailer for the film, put together from material shot last summer is now available for viewing on www.touchingthegame.com. The website also contains additional information on the film, and a video on the 2006 Midnight Sun Game. Continue reading “2007: Documentary crew set to return to ABL”

2007: Replacing ping! with crack! for Alaskan summer

2-month season gets NCAA players used to wood bats

BY LINDA DOUGLASS
Alaska Post online

The Alaska Goldpanners and Omaha (Nebraska) Strike Zone line up for the playing of the National Anthem prior to the 2005 Midnight Sun Game.

The boys of summer are back, and Alaska baseball fans’ winter-long dreams have finally become reality.

The sharp crack of the wooden bat connecting with the leather ball, the muffled slap of the ball hitting the pocket of the glove, the fans cheering their team and booing the umpires, homeruns, spectacular catches, well-executed double plays, stolen bases and occasionally even a triple play – all are signs that it’s baseball season once again. Continue reading “2007: Replacing ping! with crack! for Alaskan summer”

ESPN : Midnight Sun Game is #8 Ultimate Baseball Experience

Editor’s Note: Jim Caple couldn’t boil his lifetime of baseball experiences down to just 10, so the first installment of the “Travel Top Ten” goes into extra innings.

The ultimate baseball experience is sitting behind home plate while your favorite team scores the winning run in Game 7 of the World Series. But you can’t count on that happening very often – especially if you live in Cleveland. Still, here are 10 “Don’t Miss” baseball experiences that are always available for the perfect road swing. Continue reading “ESPN : Midnight Sun Game is #8 Ultimate Baseball Experience”