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”
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”
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”
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
“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”
TOUCHING THE GAME AWARD WINNING BASEBALL FILMS
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”
The Midnight Sun Game is played annually on the summer solstice in Fairbanks, home of the Alaska Goldpanners, the world’s northernmost baseball team. First pitch each year is at 10:30 P.M.
If, like 99.8 percent of Americans, you reside somewhere other than Alaska, you probably cling to a certain set of associations with the 49th state: snow and sled dogs, salmon and oil, the malapropisms of a former governor. Most likely, you think of reality television — you know, the show about the crabs. Or the trucks. Or the gold. No, the other one about the gold. Continue reading “2015: We Went There: Alaska’s 110-Year-Old Twilight Baseball Game”
By Sean Deveney
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)”
Alaska Airlines Complimentary Magazine
“Gold Among the Diamonds”
by Keith Olsen
1978 MIDNIGHT SUN GAME
This article in the Alaska Airlines magazine “Alaska Fest” takes a look back at the Goldpanners 1978 season in Fairbanks. It provides a great glimpse into baseball life in Fairbanks in the late 70s:
“Don Dennis, Goldpanner general manager since 1967, said Kemp was a delight to watch hit. “He always swung at the first pitch, and that first swing was always from the heels,” Dennis said. “There were other more powerful hitters, but for making contact every time nobody was better than Kemp. For power, Dave Kingman was certainly one of the most awesome. He hit some pop-ups at home plate that went so high they got above the lights and fell for doubles.”
Many interesting pictures and details are included, with an additional essay on the rise of Floyd Bannister.
VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE BELOW:
The 2008 Midnight Sun Game was one of the greatest of all time. Celebrating the 103rd playing of the game, 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 “2008: Awards and Dignitaries”