Information on the 112th Anniversary, 6/21/17


W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Game


  • EVENT: 2017 will see the 112th playing of the Midnight Sun Baseball Game (1906-2017).   Though the game is played through the hour of midnight, artificial lights are never used — and have never been used in the history of the event.  Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, and provides nearly continuous light throughout the evening in Fairbanks, which is 150 miles south of the arctic circle.  This phenomenon is very rare, and cannot be experienced in Anchorage.  The light fades towards the middle of the game, but usually returns by the end of the game.

  • LOCATION: Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks, Alaska ; Roughly 3 miles from the airport.  View in Google Earth (Save) ; View in Google Maps

  • DATE: The game will be started on June 21st.

  • TIME: The game will begin at 10:30 (usually ends 1:30-2:00 a.m.)

  • HOME TEAM: The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks have hosted the Midnight Sun Game since 1960.  The Panners have sent over 200 players to the majors, including Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield and Barry Bonds.  Before the Goldpanners took over the tradition in 1960, various local and military teams were featured in the contest.

  • VISITORS: The visiting team will be announced

  • TICKETS: Gates open at 9:00 pm.  Early entry tickets provide 8:00 pm admittance.

  • LODGING: There are hotels in the area, but they tend to fill up fast.  The Super 8 on Airport is the closest.

  • AWARDS: To be announed

  • DIGNITARIES: To be announed

  • SPECIAL EVENTS: The game is stopped at midnight for the singing of the Alaska Flag Song; Anthem and Flag Song to be performed by Shellyann Thibedeau

  • HISTORY: The baseball tradition began in 1906 as a bar bet between the Eagle’s Club and the California Bar, led by “Father of the Midnight Sun Game” Eddie Stroecker.

    • The game is a celebration of the summer solstice, and is a Fairbanks holiday.

    • In 2005, Fairbanks native Sean Timmons became the all-time winningest pitcher in MSG history.  With his save in 2009, his record is now 3 wins, 0 losses, and 1 save.   Immediately after the game in 2005, Sean’s No. 33 jersey was shipped to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. ; Sean earned the save in the 2009 Midnight Sun Game.

    • In 2008, Bill “Spaceman” Lee avenged a 1967 loss in the Midnight Sun Game by posting a win against the SoCal Runnings Birds

2004: Baseball Under the Midnight Sun (New York Times)

June 25, 2004
The Frigid-Aires at the 2004 Midnight Sun Game

‘You enjoy every minute of this,” said Mr. Stroecker, who has lived his entire life in Fairbanks, ”because from here on out, it goes downhill a little bit every day.”


IN the first inning, a routine fly ball drifted above the left fielder, who, positioning himself just right in the grass, held up his mitt — and then lost the ball in the sun. It was 10:40 p.m. Attribute the error to the solstice light, still going strong at the start of the 99th annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game. Continue reading “2004: Baseball Under the Midnight Sun (New York Times)”

2006: Baseball at midnight? Only in Alaska

It’s a baseball happening unlike anything else when the Alaska Goldpanners take the field for the Midnight Sun Game.


The sun was posturing, scraping the western horizon while making its slow descent to the north. A rainbow unfurled in the east. And Bill Stroecker was standing impatiently by the admission gate at Growden Park as fans lined up to celebrate a baseball happening like no other.

2002: Having Fun with the Midnight Sun (Evening Magazine)

By John Stofflet
Evening Magazine

2002: At Midnight

What would you do if it didn’t get dark at night? Play 24 hours a day? Well, the folks in Fairbanks and the other northern towns in Alaska have a hard time hitting the sack this time of year.

In summer it is light for most of the night and that means you often forgo sleep in favor of having fun. Continue reading “2002: Having Fun with the Midnight Sun (Evening Magazine)”

1991: Life Shines Brighter Under Midnight Sun (Chicago Tribune)

By Storer H. Rowley
Chicago Tribune

Sunday, June 30, 1991

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun. . . .” – Robert Service

ARCTIC CIRCLE, Yukon – Across the Yukon, the storied Canadian setting of the last great gold rush, it is the season of perpetual light.

Here at 66 degrees, 33 minutes north latitude is the most southerly location where the sun never sets on the summer solstice, June 21.

Instead, it traces an elliptical orbit overhead. The length of time it circles varies, with high arctic communities getting no sunsets for weeks. Those closer to the circle get nighttime sunshine for only a few days on either side of that date.

Continue reading “1991: Life Shines Brighter Under Midnight Sun (Chicago Tribune)”