Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks

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Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks
Founded 1960
League Alaska Baseball League
Based in Fairbanks, Alaska
Ballpark Growden Memorial Park
Championships NBC (1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1980, 2002)
Alaska (1961-62-63-64-65-66-67-68-70-72-73-74-75-78-79-80-81-82-83-84-86-91-94-95-02-03-05-13-14)
Website http://www.goldpanners.com

The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks are a collegiate summer baseball team which was founded in 1960 as an independent barnstorming team. The Goldpanners were charter members of the Alaska Baseball League at the league's inception in 1974. The Goldpanners play their home games at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. They also host the annual Midnight Sun Game at their home venue.

Like other amateur collegiate summer baseball teams, the Goldpanners operate in a similar manner to professional minor league organizations: playing a nightly schedule, using wooden bats, and with road trips of up to 9 hours facing league competition.

History[edit]

Fairbanks, Alaska's first national achievement came as the Pan-Alaska Gold Panners appeared in the 1962 NBC national championship game. Following a business re-organization led by W.G. Stroekcer in 1963, the team changed its name to the "Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks".

In 2008, former Goldpanner Bill "Spaceman" Lee returned to Fairbanks as an alumnus of the Midnight Sun Game. During his time with the club, which included a win for Lee in the Midnight Sun Game, Bill declared that the Goldpanners were "the number one amateur baseball organization in history."[citation needed]

Championships and honors[edit]

  • 1960 Championship: North of the Range League
  • 1961 Championship: North of the Range League
  • 1961 Championship: Alaska Regional NBC Tournament
  • 1961 2nd Place: Alaska State Championship
  • 1962 Championship: North of the Range League
  • 1962 Championship: Alaska State Tournament
  • 1962 Championship: Alaska Regional NBC Playoff
  • 1962 Championship: Alaska Regional NBC State Tournament
  • 1962 2nd Place: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1962 Award: National Non-Pro Team of the Year
  • 1962 Award: Most Popular National Non-Pro Team
  • 1963 Award: Most Popular National Non-Pro Team
  • 1964 Championship: Alaska State Tournament
  • 1964 2nd place: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1966 Championship: Hawaii International Baseball Tournament
  • 1966 Championship: World Baseball Tournament
  • 1970 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1970 Championship: National Baseball Congress Big West Conference Tournament
  • 1971 2nd Place: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1972 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1972 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1972 3rd Place (Pool A): Haarlem Baseball Week
  • 1973 Championship: Alaska World Series
  • 1973 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1974 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 1974 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1974 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 1975 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 1976 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1976 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 1977 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 1978 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1979 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1980 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1980 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 1981 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1982 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1983 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1984 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1986 Championship: Alaska Baseball League Pacific Division
  • 1988 Championship: U.S. Open Baseball Tournament - Tahoe
  • 1990 Championship: U.S. Open Baseball Tournament - Ontario
  • 1991 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1993 Championship: Alaska Federation
  • 1993 2nd place: Grand National Baseball Tournament
  • 1994 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1994 Championship: Alaska Baseball Tournament
  • 1995 Championship: Alaska Federation
  • 1995 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 1996 Championship: Hawaii International Baseball Tournament
  • 1998 2nd place: Canada International Baseball Tournament
  • 2001 Championship: Wood Bat Invitation Tournament
  • 2002 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 2002 Championship: National Baseball Congress World Series
  • 2003 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 2003 Championship: Wood Bat Invitation Tournament
  • 2005 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 2009 Championship: Kamloops, B.C., Canada, International Baseball Tournament
  • 2013 Championship: Barona Bash Invitational Tournament
  • 2013 Championship: 108th W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Game
  • 2013 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 2013 Championship: Alaska Baseball League Post-Season Tournament
  • 2014 Championship: Alaska Baseball League - American Division
  • 2014 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
  • 2014 7th Place: National Baseball Congress World Series

Notable alumni[edit]

Midnight Sun game[edit]

Main article: Midnight Sun Game
The players line up before the first pitch of the 2011 Midnight Sun Game.

First held in 1906, the annual Midnight Sun Game is held yearly in Fairbanks, Alaska and hosted by the Goldpanners. The game, which begins at 10:30 PM on the night of the summer solstice, has gained the attention of international media.

Baseball America declared the game one of the "10 Must-See Baseball Events."[citation needed] In 2005, ESPN spotlighted the game during "50 States in 50 Days."[citation needed] ESPN The Magazine called the event the "#8 Ultimate Baseball Experience."[citation needed] The Sporting News declared that on the 21st of June, "Fairbanks is the Baseball Capitol of America".[citation needed] In 2012, Yankees Magazine declared the game "Baseball's Most Natural Promotion".

Quotes[edit]

"I've been lucky enough to attend many World Series, All-Star Games and Opening Days but the Midnight Sun Game is in a league of its own." – Greg Harris, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

"Everybody should have an opportunity to come to Alaska and see the Midnight Sun Game" – Bobby Doerr, Boston Red Sox alumnus and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

2015 on-field staff[edit]

  • Manager: Jeff Stephens
  • Pitching Coach:
  • Assistant Coach:

External links[edit]