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”

Sports Illustrated: The Alaska Baseball League – A major league pipeline

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -There are so few fans in Mulcahy Stadium this summer evening that a heckler’s game-long monologue carries clear to the pitcher’s mound. It’s the eighth inning. The hometown Anchorage Bucs are tied with the Peninsula Oilers, 2-2.

“Hit it right at him, see how his reflexes are!” he urges the batter.

The man’s voice cuts easily through the quiet chatter of about 300 people lounging in the bleachers at this Alaska Baseball League game, between teams made up of college players from North Carolina to Hawaii to Taiwan. The park holds 4,500 people, but the average turnout for a game is several hundred. Continue reading “Sports Illustrated: The Alaska Baseball League – A major league pipeline”

2006: Midnight Games (Sporting News)

By Sean Deveney
The SportingNews

Fairbanks, Alaska, requires toughness. Living on the 65th parallel, you don’t exactly spend time thinking about how the petunias are coming along. The average high temperature in January is 2-below. Extension cords dangle out of car grills, and most parking spaces are equipped with electrical outlets. That’s because if you parked for a few hours during an Alaska winter without plugging in, your engine would become an Ice Pop.

Mother Nature hung a Keep Out sign here, and most of humanity listened. The population of Fairbanks, Alaska’s third-largest city, is 30,000. That’s a couple of city blocks in midtown Manhattan. But there’s evidence that Alaskans are not daft. After all, even here, they find ways to play baseball. Continue reading “2006: Midnight Games (Sporting News)”

2006: Panners work extra for Sun win

By MATIAS SAARI

It wasn’t the first game-winning hit of Chu Yuan-Chin’s burgeoning career.

But it may have been the most dramatic, as the Taiwanese newcomer for the Alaska Goldpanners slapped a single to center field scoring pinch runner Lan Shao-Bai for a 2-1, 10-inning win over the Beatrice, Neb., Bruins that sent another huge crowd home happy in the 101st Midnight Sun Game. Continue reading “2006: Panners work extra for Sun win”

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.

BY CLARK SPENCER
MIAMI HERALD

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.