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 NBL (1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1980, 2002)
ABL (1970, 1972, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2005)
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 Pan-Alaska 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 teams: playing a nightly schedule, using wooden bats, and bus travel between games. To maintain their amateur status and NCAA eligibility, they are not paid and live with host families.

History[edit]

The team's first achievement came as runners-up in the 1962 NBC National Championship. The team changed its name to the "Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks" in 1963. The media most often refers to the team as the "Fairbanks Goldpanners," but are also known as the "Alaska Goldpanners."

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]

Notable alumni[edit]

Midnight Sun game[edit]

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

2013 On Field Staff[edit]

  • Manager: Bryan Harris
  • Pitching Coach: Tim Kelly
  • Assistant Coach: Derek Nicholson

External links[edit]