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.”
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)”
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”
The 100th anniversary Midnight Sun Baseball Game brought out thousands and thousands of die-hard baseball fans and sun worshippers Tuesday night.
But perhaps no fan made more of a sacrifice to be at the famous baseball game–the only game in the world to be played at midnight with no artificial lights–than Crieghton Beshears of Fairbanks.
“We made him take an extra long nap today,” the 3-year-old’s father, Rick Beshears, said. Continue reading “2005: Fans flock to annual classic”
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”
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)”
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”
Darrell V. Brewington, Fairbanks Mayor
WHEREAS, the University of Southern California has one of the outstanding baseball teams of the season; and
WHEREAS, the University of Southern California Baseball Club and its members demonstrate sportsmanship and physical fitness at its finest; and
*The lights have never been used during a Midnight Sun Game since their introduction in 1964
Eagles Rally in Ninth for 8-6 Win
FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER
June 19, 1964
A four-run ninth inning rally by Grand Junction gave the Eagles an 8-6 win over the Goldpanners last night and I evened the Midnight Sun series at 1-1.
The game was the first known game in Alaska ever played under artificial lights. Crews worked up to the last few minutes to have the lights in operation and when a cloud bank blocked the sun the lights were put on half way through the fourth inning. In past years such overcast skies frequently forced games to be called in the early innings.