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.”
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”
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)”
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”
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)”