By Jim Caple
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”
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”
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”
2007 saw the beginning of a new era in the history of the midnight sun game. Gone were the ceremonies surrounding the centennial and 100th annual game. Back to work, the Goldpanners faced longtime rivals, the Oceanside (CA) Waves — led by Fairbanksan Mike Studer. In spite of the new burden, the game went off with the same excitement as ever. Listed below is a growing list of dignitaries on hand for the event. Continue reading “2007: Awards and Dignitaries”
|Pregame Concert||The Frigid Aires||Stroecker, Rafson, Carlson|
|PA: Recognition||MLB Hall of Fame|
|Singer: National Anthem|
|Singer: Flag Song|
|Midnight Pitch||Gaylord Perry|
|In Attendance||Greg Harris||VP, MLB Hall of Fame|
For the second year, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame was on hand to participate in the annual midnight classic. Pitching great Ferguson Jenkins helped with tickets at the front gate, and also threw out the ceremonial Hall of Fame Pitch at Midnight. Other great figures were on hand for the festivities. Listed below is a growing archive of those present. Continue reading “2004: Awards and Dignitaries”
The 2005 Midnight Sun Game was destined for greatness, due to its place as the centennial celebration. On hand for the 100th playing of the game was the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, represented by Boston Red Sox legend Bobby Doerr. no less a figure than Bill “Spaceman” Lee was on hand to participate. A number of other dignitaries and awardees were on hand. Listed below is a growing list of those present at the historic event. Continue reading “2005: Awards and Dignitaries”
The 2006 Midnight Sun Game was one for the ages. Celebrating the 101st playing of the game – the official 100th anniversary — a number of great figures were on hand to document the evening. Listed below is a growing list of those present at the historic event. Continue reading “2006: Awards and Dignitaries”