111th W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Game on 6/21
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks program has a tremendous reputation throughout
the baseball world, yet its profound impact on baseball history is understood by
few. The Goldpanners were pioneers in the promotion of collegiate sports, and rode
the strength of the college athlete to many achievements on and off the field. The club
operates in a manner similar to a Minor League Baseball team (playing daily, using wood
bats, traveling by bus), thereby preparing college athletes for the rigors of pro ball.
This summer the Goldpanners organization
will be in its 57th season of operation. The
success of the program in player development
has far exceeded that of any other team
in the history of amateur baseball. The bulk of
that success is attributable to the 50-year run
of Don Dennis, who was associated with the
club since coming to Fairbanks in1964, and
General Manager from 1967 through 2011.
Over 200 Goldpanners have reached Major
League Baseball as players, including Barry
Bonds (83), Tom Seaver (64-65), and Dave
Winfield (71-72). Even more significant is the
record number of 1,180 Goldpanners drafted
by Major League Baseball teams. There
have also been numerous others who translated
their summer experience into success
throughout the professional world.
From the beginning of its operation in 1959,
the club’s goal has been to assist the young
athlete in maximizing his potential to the
fullest. Intensifying the personal disciplines
required to succeed during the difficult Alaskan
baseball season is the means to achieve
this end. Aside from the physical discipline
required to compete at the highest level of
amateur baseball, there are many off-field
challenges which require mental discipline.
Triumphing over these struggles with strong
physical and mental discipline forges the type
of character which enhances success in all
areas of life.
The compressed schedule forces players to
rapidly develop these traits in an environment
which requires an extreme level of endurance
and dedication. The challenge presented is
to meet and overcome all personal and ath-
letic struggles during the team’s march for a
record-expanding seventh NBC World Series
Though started as a humble town team in
the “North of the Range League”, the Alaska
Goldpanners gained wide fame almost immediately
after finishing second overall in
the the national tournament, which is held in
Wichita, Kansas. Over its 82-year history,
only the Goldpanners have won the championship
six times (72-73-74-76-80-02).
The curiosity about the team’s Alaskan roots,
mixed with the entertainment of a young
team composed entirely of collegians, endeared
many fans to the Goldpanners. The
continued successes of the club led to an
almost cult-like following during the 60s and
70s. The team’s allure has only continued to
Over the years, the club has achieved numerous
national and international distinctions,
leading to world-wide fame rivalling that of
many professional teams. The influence of
the Goldpanners in the baseball world is still
on the ascent even now. Besides the growing
popularity of the Midnight Sun Game, the
team’s alumni often continue with the game
after their playing careers are over, and are
now positioned administratively throughout
all levels of play.
During the past few years, legendary ballplayer
Bill “Spaceman” Lee (66-67-08) has
taken it upon himself to spread the word of
the world-class Fairbanks program, even
declaring that the club was “the number one
amateur baseball organization in history.”
Midnight Sun Sweep of 2015 NBC Champs
Eight-Year Midnight Sun Game Win Streak
2016 GROWDEN PARK SCHEDULE
Fairbanks Adult All-Stars
Kenai (AK) Oilers
Kenai (AK) Oilers
Kenai (AK) Oilers
Kenai (AK) Oilers
Kenai (AK) Oilers
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Diego (CA) Stars
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
San Francisco (CA) Seals
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Everett (WA) Merchants
Alaska Bowl - 7/22,23 bracket at goldpanners.com
2016 PERSONNEL DIRECTORY
PRESIDENT/INTERIM GM: John Lohrke
VICE PRESIDENT: Brian Rasley
VICE PRESIDENT: Jim Dixon
TREASURER: Virginia Farmier
FIELD MANAGER: Tim Kelly
TRAINING STAFF: Jim Kimbal
STADIUM OPERATIONS: Christoph Falke
MARKETING DIRECTOR: Mike Cloutier
MARKETING ASSISTANT: Dave Slater
ADDITIONAL SALES: Don Seeliger
HOUSING DIRECTOR: Rhonda Lohrke
GROWDEN BEAUTIFICATION: Stacey Joosse
SECURITY: Charles Noble
VEHICLES: Seekin’s Ford
BROADCASTER: Gero von Dehn
MEDIA INTERN: Tal Norvell
TICKETING: John Denning, Bri Dennis
PUBLIC ADDRESS: Raleigh Johnson
PRESSBOX & PANNERVISION: Tom Dennis
YEARBOOK: Todd Dennis
P.O. Box 71154 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 907-451-0095
1960-2015: 56 Seasons of Championship Baseball
Holder of Many State, National and International Titles, Including1966 World Crown
In 1959, shortly after the passage of the
Alaska Statehood Bill, University of Alaska
Fairbanks basketball coach Ray Wheeler determined
to field a baseball club.
Ray sought to generate support from a number
of local baseball enthusiasts. In the process
of preparing for the season, he ordered
a set of uniforms to be manufactured by a local
sporting goods store: Pan-Alaska Sports,
which was operated by WWII veteran H.A.
Despite Wheeler’s best efforts that spring,
he was unable to get the team onto the field.
Boucher, then stuck with a set of uniforms for
a team that didn’t exist, organized his own
push to see the project through.
This he did, and 56 years later through the
leadership of Boucher and Don Dennis (starting
in 1967) the Alaska Goldpanners organization
has won a record number of state,
national and international records.
The successes of the club are numerous. Listed
on this page are year-by-year results for all
YEAR MANAGER G W L %
1960 Boucher 18 11 7 61%
1961 Boucher 16 12 4 75%
1962 Boucher 31 24 7 77%
1963 Boucher 57 45 12 79%
1964 Boucher 54 35 19 65%
1965 Boucher 57 38 19 67%
1966 Boucher 63 50 13 79%
1967 Boucher 55 45 10 82%
1968 Boucher 48 37 11 77%
1969 Boucher 59 41 18 69%
1970 Olsen 57 38 19 67%
1971 Dietz 68 46 22 68%
1972 Dietz 60 40 20 67%
1973 Dietz 66 49 17 74%
1974 Dietz 80 60 20 75%
1975 Dietz 68 51 17 75%
1976 Dietz 82 56 26 68%
1977 Dietz 78 48 30 62%
1978 Hines 69 41 28 59%
1979 Hines 66 45 21 68%
1980 Hines 52 43 9 83%
1981 Hines 44 26 18 59%
1982 Hines 57 40 17 70%
1983 Snow 61 42 19 69%
1984 Snow 65 42 23 65%
1985 Kelly 66 41 25 62%
1986 Weathers 62 39 23 63%
1987 Weathers 59 40 19 68%
1988 Weathers 67 46 21 69%
1989 Harrison 52 30 22 58%
1990 Dietz 57 37 20 65%
1991 Dietz 61 47 14 77%
1992 Dietz 47 22 25 47%
1993 Dietz 59 36 23 61%
1994 Baumann 55 36 19 65%
1995 Parker 51 33 18 65%
1996 Parker 54 24 30 44%
1997 Leppert 56 38 18 68%
1998 Cowgill 56 31 25 55%
1999 Cowgill 45 24 21 53%
2000 Cowgill 48 28 20 58%
2001 Jones 53 26 27 49%
2002 Cheff 57 38 19 67%
2003 Cheff 55 38 17 69%
2004 Cheff 45 29 16 64%
2005 Cheff 51 39 12 76%
2006 Cheff 43 21 22 49%
2007 Gloyd 43 23 20 53%
2008 Gloyd 38 18 20 47%
2009 Gloyd/Dietz 73 34 39 46%
2010 Dietz 49 34 15 69%
2011 Dietz 35 27 8 77%
2012 Dietz 47 25 22 51%
2013 Harris 57 35 17 61%
2014 Grahovac 48 37 11 77%
2015 Stephens 49 15 34 30%
TOTALS 3,066 1,993 1073 65%
1960 Championship: North of the Range League
1961 Championship: North of the Range League
1961 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1961 Second Place: Alaska State Championship
1962 Championship: North of the Range League
1962 Championship: Alaska State Tournament
1962 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Playoff
1962 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1962 Second Place: N.B.C. 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
1963 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1963 Third Place: N.B.C. World Series
1964 Championship: Alaska State Tournament
1964 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1964 Second Place: N.B.C. World Series
1965 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1965 Fourth Place: N.B.C. World Series
1966 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1966 Championship: Hawaii International Baseball Tourn.
1966 Championship: World Baseball Tournament
1967 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1967 Fourth Place: N.B.C. World Series
1968 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1969 Second Place: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1969 Fourth Place: N.B.C. World Series
1970 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1970 Championship: N.B.C. Big West Conference Tourn.
1970 Fourth Place: N.B.C. World Series
1971 Second Place: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1971 Second Place: N.B.C. World Series
1972 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1972 Championship: N.B.C. World Series
1972 Fifth Place: Honkbal Baseball Week in Holland
1973 Championship: Alaska World Series
1973 Championship: N.B.C. World Series
1973 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament*
1974 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1974 Championship: N.B.C. World Series
1974 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament*
1975 Championship: Alaska World Series
1975 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament*
1975 Championship: N.B.C. Far West Regional Tourn.
1975 Second Place: N.B.C. World Series
1976 Second Place: World Crown Tournament
1976 Championship: Pueblo Tournament of Champions
1976 Championship: N.B.C. World Series
1976 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament*
1977 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament*
1977 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1977 Championship: Alaska State Tournament
1977 Championship: N.B.C. Northwest Regional
1977 Second Place: National Baseball Congress World Series
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
1983 Championship: Top of the World Series
1983 Championship: N.B.C. Alaska Regional Tournament
1983 Second Place: National Baseball Congress World Series
1984 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1984 Third Place: National Baseball Congress World Series
1985 Championship: Alaska Regional NBC State Tournament
1986 Championship: Alaska Baseball League Pacific Division
1987 Second Place: U.S. Open Tournament - Hawaii
1988 Championship: U.S. Open Tournament - Tahoe
1989 Championship: Midnight Sun Invitational
1990 Championship: U.S. Open Tournament - Ontario
1991 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1991 Championship: National Shootout Tourney - Amarillo
1991 Second Place: U.S. Open Tournament - Carson City
1993 Championship: Alaska Federation
1993 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1993 Second Place: Grand National Baseball Tournament
1994 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1994 Championship: Alaska Invitational Tournament
1994 Second Place: Grand National Baseball Tournament
1995 Championship: Alaska Federation
1995 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
1996 Championship: Hawaii International Tournament
1996 Second Place: Kelowna International Tournament
1997 Second Place: Alaska Invitational Tournament
1997 Second Place: Kelowna International Tournament
1998 Second Place: Kelowna International Tourn.
2001 Championship: Wood Bat Invitational Tournament
2002 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
2002 Championship: N.B.C. World Series
2003 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
2005 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
2005 Winners: Midnight Sun Game Centennial
2009 Championship: Kamloops International Tournament
2011: Second Place: Kamloops International Tournament
2013 Championship: Barona (CA) Bash Invitational Tournament
2013 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
2013 Championship: ABL Post Season Tournament
2014 Championship: Alaska-American Division
45-YEAR G.M. DON DENNIS IN 2011
2014 Championship: “Top of the World Series”
2014 Championship: Alaska Baseball League
TEAM FOUNDER H.A. (RED) BOUCHER
DON DENNIS & BILL STROECKER
JOHN LOHRKE NAMED FOURTH PRESIDENT IN CLUB HISTORY
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks
baseball club has named John Lohrke
President of the club’s board of directors.
John is only the fourth president in the
57-year history of the club, following W.G.
Stroecker (1963-2010), E. Chilton Hines
(2011-12) and Phil Prax (2013-14-15).
John is a graduate of Santa Clara University,
following in the footsteps of his
brother Kurt who was a first team allconference
ballplayer for the Broncos.
Kurt enjoyed a three-year pro career after
being drafted by the Boston Red Sox
in 1971. He had also been drafted out of
high school by the Kansas City Royals.
John and Kurt’s father Jack was a major league baseball infielder for the New
York Giants (1947-51) and Philadelphia Phillies (1952-53). On July 3 1956,
Jack played an exhibition game in Fairbanks as a member of the Seattle Rainiers.
Jack went 1-for-3 in the game, which saw the professional Rainiers defeat
the Fairbanks All-Stars 18-14. The local club was led offensively by Charlie Cole,
longtime Chairman of the Goldpanners Board of Directors. Following his baseball
career Jack retired as the head of Lockheed Corporation’s head of security.
John first came to Alaska in 1980 to work for the North Pole Nicks (1980-
87) summer ballclub as an administrative assistant. From there, he ascended
to the General Manager position, a role he held through the 1987
season. During his tenure with the club, the Nicks finished second at the National
Baseball Congress World Series. Twenty-six players from those club
ascended to the major leagues, including Mark Grace and Luis Gonzales.
Later, John served as President of the
Kenai Peninsula Oilers Board of Directors
(1999-01). The 1999 Oilers became
John’s second club to reach the championship
game of the NBC World Series. During
his stay in the Kenai Peninsula, John
assumed the General Manager position
at Seekin’s Ford in Soldotna. In 2002, he
moved to the Interior of Alaska in a management
role at Seekin’s Ford, Fairbanks.
When asked about the prospects for the 55th
season in Growden Memorial Park John
said, “I’m very excited to continue my love for
baseball with the most prestigious and wellknown
semi-pro baseball team in the country.“
All-Time Board of Directors List
Name Joined Departed Name Joined Departed
John Luther Adams
Dr. James Beckley
H.A. (Red) Boucher
H.A. (Red) Boucher
Fred R. Burnett
Wally Cathcart III
Judge Vern Forbes
Col. Ken Haycraft
E. Chilton Hines
Harvey Marlin III
Michael P. McConahy
Dr. Joseph Ribar
Dr. Bryce Stallard
Mike Stepovich III
FNSB Mayor Karl Kassel and Lohrke (Eric Engman/ News-Miner) 3
2015: A Peek at Baseball in Alaska
Playing at the top of the World
By Tom Hardesty
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Brian Lees is standing near the
home dugout at Growden Memorial Park, amused as he
watches some of his Alaska Goldpanner teammates employ
a bucket to try and catch a field mouse that has just
darted underneath a fence and into the stadium.
The mouse’s elusiveness brings a smile to Lees’ face, and
the Goldpanner catcher, who has just completed his sophomore
year at the University of Akron, is about to take the
bucket and do it himself when his teammates finally nab
the rodent and remove it from harm’s way.
The mouse has provided a brief diversion from pregame
preparations for that night’s Alaska Baseball League
game against the Peninsula Oilers, which is still several
hours from first pitch. But in a strange way, the mouse has
done its small part in helping the Goldpanners come just
a little closer together as a team — some of the players
having just arrived at the stadium for the first time in their
lives earlier in the day.
It’s late June, and Lees has already been in Alaska for a
couple weeks. But he still barely knows many of the players
he will be spending nearly every day with for the rest
of the summer.
“It’s very different,” said Lees, the Great Mouse Caper
having reached a favorable conclusion, “but this is a great
opportunity. I couldn’t pass it up.”
Lees, like every other Goldpanner, has journeyed to Alaska
in hopes of catching the eye of a Major League Baseball
scout. The six teams in the Alaska Baseball League
are comprised primarily of collegiate players seeking an
opportunity to showcase their abilities against some of the
best amateur talent the United States has to offer.
They have from June to August to get a foot in the MLB
door, roughly 50 games to hone their skills and polish their
craft enough to either be drafted (if they aren’t already),
sign a free-agent contract or be invited back to the Goldpanners
for another go-round the next summer.
LIFE IN FAIRBANKS
In winter, the temperature in Fairbanks generally hovers
around 15 to 25 below, but the thermometer can dip to 60,
sometimes even 75 degrees, below zero. The snowpack
in and around the central Alaska city of 32,000 hardy souls
usually blankets the ground from October to May, forcing
residents to contend with deep snow and biting cold the
majority of the year.
“Some areas could have five or six feet of snow, easy,”
said Rodney Evans, a member of the Goldpanners’ Board
of Directors and a lifelong Fairbanks resident. “Highways
will be closed down because the winds cause drifting.
You’ve just got to be prepared for the cold.”
Evans is sitting in the first row of seats behind home plate
at Growden Memorial Park, which happens to be the
northern-most baseball stadium on Earth. It’s nearly nine
o’clock at night, but the sun is still high in the sky at this
latitude as the Goldpanners do battle with the Oilers, their
ABL rivals from the southern part of the state. It’s a balmy
summer evening in Fairbanks, with fans in attendance
sporting sunglasses, T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops.
With the heat and mosquitoes, you would think you were
in the southeastern United States rather than near the top
of the world. “You learn to adjust during winter,” said Evans.
“You always cover your face and don’t leave any skin
exposed or you’ll get frostbite. You dress in layers.”
There’s something else residents must battle in winter —
something, in many ways, more difficult to handle than
the blowing snow and numbing cold. “Darkness,” said
Evans. “In the winter time it never really gets completely
light out. When the sun comes up in the morning, all you
see is a little sliver of light. And then it’s down again.
“Some people have trouble adjusting to it.” Still, a large
number of native Fairbanksians wouldn’t — maybe couldn’t
— live anywhere else. “It’s my home,” said Evans.
It’s against this wintry backdrop of a city gripped much of
the year by snow, ice and frigid temperatures that some
of baseball’s greatest players have gotten their jumpstart
to the professional ranks. And far beyond.
BASEBALL AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD
Growden Memorial Park has a charm all its own. Rolling,
forested foothills serve as a dramatic backdrop in the
distance beyond the outfield fence, providing a sweeping
panorama of the remote central Alaskan landscape.
Growden also features towering light standards, but
lights are rarely necessary for Goldpanner games because,
well, it really doesn’t get dark in Alaska during
the summer. The sun simply circles the top of the planet,
setting just long enough on the western horizon to leave
behind the orange glow of dusk while daybreak simultaneously
lights up the sky in the east.
The net result is never-ending daylight in the summer
months. In fact, the Goldpanners are famous for their
“Midnight Sun Game,” played in Fairbanks on the summer
solstice every year since 1960. The game starts at
10:30 p.m. and ends around 1:30 a.m. — no lights necessary
— and receives national press coverage.
“The biggest thing I had to get used to was the daylight,”
said Lees. “The sun gives you so much energy. Since
it’s always light out, you don’t realize how late it’s getting
sometimes. You’re just up doing things and you don’t
realize how late it’s getting. It took me about a week to
get used to it.”
Growden Memorial Park, though, is much more than a
quaint baseball stadium located a mere 120 miles south
of the Arctic Circle. It’s a real-life field of dreams for college
players looking to impress the Major League scouts
that are often in attendance at ABL games.
In fact, on this night a scout from the Los Angeles Angels
is sitting in the stands directly behind the plate, armed
with a notebook and radar gun. “They’ve had a lot of
players from this team make it to the Major Leagues over
the years,” said Lees. “Guys can really further their careers
by playing here.”
They certainly can. The impressive list of players who
have worn the Goldpanner uniform reads like a Major
League All-Star team. Assistant coach Billy Sample
played major-league ball with the Rangers, Yankees
and Braves in the 1970s and ’80s, batting .272 over the
course of his nine-year career.
Sample was brought to Fairbanks this season to instruct
the Goldpanner hitters — and also dabble in a little public-relations
work, sporting a wide smile and gentle laugh
as he greeted fans at the gate as they filed into the park
for the evening’s game against the Oilers.
Sample seems to be on a first-name basis with many
of them, some stopping to chat briefly with him before
heading to their seats. It’s baseball at its roots. It’s the
way the game was meant to be. It’s a slice of pastoral
Americana in the harsh sub-arctic northland.
FITTING IN WITH BASEBALL ROYALTY
You would expect success with the kind of talent that
has dotted the Goldpanners’ roster over the decades,
and you would be right: The Goldpanners have won 29
league championships since their inception in 1960.
They have also captured the National Baseball Congress
title six times.
It’s a rich heritage, and the Goldpanners are proud of it.
Before trophies can be hoisted, however, players must
first adjust to their foreign environment. In a very real
sense, playing for the Goldpanners is something of a
baseball boot camp. The players are thousands of miles
from home; they are put up for the summer by families
in the Fairbanks area; their teammates and coaches are
total strangers; and they travel to their games by bus
across Alaska’s vast expanses, some trips taking as long
as nine hours as they wind through some of the most
spectacular mountain and glacier scenery on Earth.
Brian Lees (Tom Hardesty)
FEELING AT HOME
Go north of Fairbanks, and you almost
instantly enter desolate wilderness that
stretches for hundreds of miles. There is
almost no road system leading north out of
Alaska’s third-largest city, save for a remote
two-lane stretch that becomes the famed
Dalton Highway, a dirt-and-gravel route that
snakes north through the tundra all the way
to the Arctic Ocean.
In other words, Fairbanks is one of the most
isolated cities in the United States. In fact,
the latitude where it sits on the globe is so
far north that it is almost completely uninhabited
planet-wide. Yet Fairbanks, home
to the University of Alaska, is like any other
college town in the country. Almost.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I got
here,” said Lees, a Cleveland-area native
who graduated from Brunswick High School.
“You watch shows like Alaskan Bush People
and all that and you think that’s all that’s
here, and then I get here and it’s not like
that at all. There’s grocery stores and everything
just like at home. “I definitely was
impressed with what’s here. It’s not what everyone
thinks Alaska is.”
Indeed, while Fairbanks is nestled deep in
the Alaskan frontier, it has all the trappings
of middle America. It features a large, stateof-the
art cinema on the main drag through
town, pizza shops, the usual fast-food restaurants,
various shopping plazas, a gourmet
coffee shack seemingly in every parking
lot, and even an international airport.
Just enough creature comforts to keep a
Midwesterner such as Lees feeling right at
home. In fact, almost too at home despite
the four-hour time difference from Alaska to
Ohio. “I forget that sometimes,” he smiled.
“I’ll grab my phone and start to text someone,
and realize there’s no one there to text
because they’re already in bed.”
At the end of the day, though, it’s all about
baseball for Lees and his Goldpanner teammates
— and the hope that playing it in perhaps
the most unique setting in all of sports
will go a long way toward making their bigleague
dreams come true.
Like it has for so many before them.
“I’m getting to play with guys from some
of the top college programs in the country,
schools like Pepperdine, UC Irvine, Arizona
State,” said Lees. “This league is one of the
top five in the country. It’s good competition.
It’s challenging as a hitter because you’re
facing a top-tier pitcher all the time, so you’ve
got to be at the top of your game all the time.
It’s just been a real good experience.”
Tom Hardesty, For the Record-Courier
Facebook: Tom Hardesty, Record-Courier
2016: Our 57th Season
Return to Independent Barnstorming Schedule
The 2016 season is a return to roots for the
Goldpanners. For the first time since the early
1970s, the club is playing an entirely independent
schedule. Due to an overlap between the Alaska
Baseball League post-season and the National
Baseball Congress World Series, the Panners
have elected to focus attention on the tournament.
Consequently, all Outside competition in 2016 is
comprised of teams affiliated with the National
The season begins in Seattle as the Panners face
the Seattle Studs for a four-game series in Tacoma.
The Studs were in Fairbanks in 2015 for
the Midnight Sun Series, with all games being won
by the Goldpanners including the 110th Midnight
Sun Game. Following their stay in Fairbanks the
Studs went on a spectacular run, eventually claiming
the crown of the N.B.C. World Series.
Once in Fairbanks, the Goldpanners will host the
Kenai Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball
League in the Midnight Sun Series. The highlight
of this series will be the 111th Midnight Sun Game
on June 21st.
After the Oilers series Fairbanks will host the San
Diego Barona Stars for a seven-game matchup.
The Panners last faced the Stars in the 2013 Barona
Bash Inviational Tournament. Fairbanks was
victorious in the game and also in the tournament,
coming out on top for their first of three titles on
Starting July 4th, the Goldpanners will take on the
San Francisco Seals, another of the top independent
teams in N.B.C. play. Finally, the Everett
Merchants will return to Fairbanks for the final series
of the season.
Tim Kelly returns to Fairbanks for his sixth season
and second as Field Mananger. In 1985, Kelly led
the ABL champion Goldpanners all the way to the
World Series in Wichita, Kansas. Prior to that, he
was a pitcher and coach on the 1980 club, which
dominated all competition and ultimately ran away
with the N.B.C. championship. Tim was also
the pitching coach for the 2012, 2013 and 2015
Player profiles are found on the following pages.
TIM KELLY ON GROWDEN MEMORIAL PARK
“I would like to provide an outside perspective
to the issue of Growden Park. Most citizens of
Fairbanks can’t possibly know the position your
city holds in the baseball world. Getting an opportunity
to play for the Goldpanners as a college
player is like playing for the Yankees or the Dodgers,
teams that have over the decades been at
the top. If you were a Goldpanner you knew you
were competing at the highest level of amateur
baseball there was. Baseball legends and countless
major leaguers played in Fairbanks. Getting
to go to Fairbanks, Alaska to play is an incredible
opportunity and validates your baseball pedigree.
Playing in your city is the goal for college players.
I have played, coached and managed for the
Goldpanners. I helped the Panners win the NBC
National Championship. The name Fairbanks
Goldpanners is magic to baseball fans throughout
the Lower 48 and they flock to see your team
play. Virtually every baseball player in Fairbanks
plays in that ballpark. It is the baseball beacon
in faraway Alaska and deserves to continue.”
TIM KELLY JAMIE SLUYS TYLER SLOAN
For 35 years, Tim Kelly has been
a pitching coach and scout. He
was the pitching coach for six
years at ASU as the Sun Devils
won the 1981 College World Series
in his first season.
Kelly also worked at the highest
levels in the scouting departments
of the California Angels
and Los Angeles Dodgers after
his run at Arizona State.
This brilliant man, who once attended
Stanford University, was
the hottest pitching coach in the
nation in the early 1980s for ASU
under Head Coach Jim Brock
Jamie Sluys of Auburn, WA returns
to Fairbanks for his third
season. First on hand as an
assistant to Jim Dietz in 2012,
Jamie rejoined the organization
in 2015, and was named Head
Coach. This season, Jamie will
fill the role of Associate Head
Sluys has had a distinguished career
as a player, as a Head Coach,
and as an Athletic Director. Jamie
is currently the Athletic Director
and Head Baseball Coach
at Muckleshoot High School -- a
role he also held while at Northwest
Tyler Sloan joins the coaching
staff following a pitching career
in the Cal-State system. While
at San Bernadino he was named
CCAA All-Academic. He also
pitched for Santa Ana during
two season under Tim Kelly. In
2014, Tyler was 7-1 with a 3.06
ERA with 40 strikeouts. That
season he helped the Dons win
the 2014 Orange Empire League
title, and was named the recipient
of the Tim Boomer McConnon
Award. Tyler earned his
AA in liberal arts and American
studies. He is now working on a
degree in communications.
1980 ALASKA GOLDPANNERS OF FAIRBANKS
LIVE BROADCASTS AT FACEBOOK.COM/GOLDPANNERS
PITCHING COACH TIM KELLY (#9); FIELD MGR BEN HINES (#36)
Joe Fernandez returns to Fairbanks following a
successful season for the Georgetown Tigers.
In 2015, Joe was the ace of the Panner pitching
staff, tied for the team lead with four victories.
In 50.2 innings pitched for the club, he had 51
strikeouts and only allowed 12 earned runs, finishing
the season with a 2.13 ERA.
During the 2016 collegiate season, the lefthander
tossed a complete-game shutout with
10 strikeouts and only two hits, leading the Tigers
to a 5-0 victory on February 5th.
Joe hails from Whittier, California. Now in his
junior year, the 6-foot moundsman will look to
mow down the opposition for the Goldpanners
By the numbers the southpaw starter will be a
valuable asset. In 66.1 innings of work in college
ball this season he has held opposing batters to
a mere .197 average. He’s sat down 90 hitters
by strikeout, holds a 3.66 ERA, and has only allowed
3 homers despite facing 287 batters.
Alex Torson is another pitcher returning from last
year’s team. As a true freshman joining the club
mid-season, he was called upon to carry an enormous
role on the pitching staff. Alex made giant
strides in his game, though he struggled to find
consistency in the middle innings. Starting all
seven games in which he appeared, Torson managed
29.2 innings pitched, winding up with a 3.65
ERA and four losses.
The right-handed starter from Lower Columbia
College has since developed a knack for winning
ball games. He was never on the losing side
through 12 starts in 2015, finishing with a record
of 8-0. All the while he had a 2.82 ERA through 70
Torson was the starting pitcher for LCC in the
NWAC championship game on May 30th. He
nursed a one-hitter before being lifted in the
sixth. “Alex did a really good job,” coach Eddie
Smith said following a 6-1 loss in the game. “He’s
done some amazing things for this program, and
he’s a competitor.”
Nathan Bannister is another pitcher set to return
to Fairbanks in 2016, although his great success
will likely delay his arrival. Nathan anchored the
ABL champion pitching staff in 2013, dominating
all competition en route to being named to the
ABL all-star team. Overall, he compiled a perfect
record of seven wins to no losses. His contribution
was critical in all three of the 2013 Goldpanners’
regular-season and post-season championships.
For the University of Arizona Wildcats Bannister
has been a picture of versatility. The right-hander
sported a 9-2 record during the 2016 regular season,
riding a 2.72 ERA heading into post-season
play. His .201 opponent’s batting average was the
best among Arizona pitchers that have at least 15
Still in post-season play as of press time, Nathan
has already pitched a key victory, throwing seven
shutout innings as Arizona beat Sam Houston State
7-3 in the Lafayette Region opener on June 3rd.
Bannister (10-2) earned the victory, allowing four
hits, striking out four and walking three.
Catcher Ty Johnson is one of the many signed players
lost prior to the start of a season. Though officially
members of the club by having signed an exclusive
contract, hundreds of Panners have never
appeared in a single game.
The most common reason is advancement into
baseball’s pro ranks. The MLB Player Draft annually
draws numerous Goldpanners into the next
level of the game. Examples of players lost to the
draft prior to appearing are: Wally Backman, Scott
Bradley , Sid Bream, Greg Brock, Steve Busby, Joe
Carter, David Clyde, Doug Henry, Jason Kendall, Tim
Loller, Steve Lyons, Brad Radke, Cesar Ramos, Dick
Ruthven, Greg Swindell, Jon Switzer, Greg Vaughn,
and Bobby Witt. In 1983, the national runner-up
Panners lost all of their signed pitchers from the
University of Texas: Mike Capel, Roger Clemens,
and Calvin Schiraldi.
Tanner Negrette is a junior from Azusa Pacific
University who specializes in the middle infield.
Before joining Azusa, Negrette played ball for Cal
State Stanislaus and Santa Ana Community College.
At APU, the 6-foot-1 right-hander is a junior
majoring in Kinesiology.
During the 2016 season, Tanner appeared in 20
games, starting 15. In 49 at-bats he struck out
nine times, while tallying eight hits, a double,
and five RBI. His summer in Fairbanks will assist
in his role as a starting middle infielder.
Tanner played two years of varsity baseball at
Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, CA. His
senior year he led Pacifica to a CIF-SS Division II
Kevin Connolly is a solid hitter known for his gritty
“Charlie Hustle” style of play in the outfield.
Following his senior season at Creighton Prep,
Kevin was named the ESPN Nebraska preseason
all-state and preseason Rawlings All-American.
During the 2012 season he hit .410, with 34 runs,
41 RBI, 20 walks, 43 hits, and 16 stolen bases, nine
doubles, five home runs and three triples. Kevin
led Creighton Prep to the best record in school history
(34-4) and a state championship.
At Notre Dame in his freshman year of college,
Connolly exercised his redshirt option and did not
play. From there, he attended Seward Com. Col.,
hitting .411, ranking sixth in hits in the NJCAA. In
2016, Kevin played for Creighton University. The
right-handed hitter impressed with a .301 (47-for-
156) average, had 11 extra-base hits with 20 RBI.
Darryl Strawberry worked out with the 1980 Goldpanners,
but was unable to play due to legal issues.
Marv Owens and Marshall Faulk chose football.
Tanner is also being called-upon to serve as a
media representative for the dugout, so stay
tuned at facebook.com/Goldpanners
Connolly can play third base or outfield, adding
defensive versatility to his impressive baseball resume.
Damian Powers has high expectations heading into
this summer. A highly-touted junior pitcher known
for strikeouts, Damian will be using this summer to
develop both physically and mentally.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander from Williamsville, NY
has been absolutely devastating to opposing batters
throughout his career. Powers has struck out
163 batters over 176.1 innings pitched in three
seasons for Le Moyne College.
Starting 11 out of 12 games this spring, Powers had
105 strikeouts with only 25 walks, while holding opposing
hitters to a .239 average. He won four and
lost four over the course of 75.2 innings pitched.
Damian also pitched 2 complete games.
While at Williamsville South High School, Powers
played both baseball and basketball, utilizing his
above-average size. One goal of Damian’s this summer
will be to increase his upper-body development,
while focusing on even greater consistency
during his appearances.
Andy Weddle is a left-handed pitcher from Lindsey
Wilson, satellite school of the Santa Ana Dons
program of Goldpanners Don Sneddon, Tim Kelly,
Bryan Harris, and countless Alaska Goldpanners.
In 20 innings of work this spring, he crafted a 2.25
ERA, and tossed a shutout. After facing 89 batters,
Weddle allowed only five earned runs. Following
the season, Weddle, a junior from Whittier, CA,
received Academic All Mid-South Conference honors.
Previously, he pitched on the collegiate level for
UC Riverside and the Santa Ana Dons. While pitching
for the Dons, the 6-foot-5 lefty appeared in 11
games, winning three and losing six. He had 14
strikeouts in 49.2 innings pitched, with an ERA of
Andy’s prep career was a LaSerna High School in
Whittier, also home of many previous Goldpanners.
He excelled as a student-athlete, earning a
3.8 GPA with a nearly-perfect SAT score of 1720.
Mitchell is an untapped two-way player from Palomar
College. He was used exclusively as a pitcher,
serving as both a starter and a reliever. Overall,
Hayes pitched 55 innings with a record of 6-2 and a
3.44 ERA. He was given honorable mention in the
All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference team selections.
Hayes hails from Temecula, CA, where he played
prep ball at Great Oaks. In 2014, his club was the
21st ranked team in the nation. Hayes batted .405
as a junior with 26 runs scored, 24 RBI and five
home runs. He also pitched 6.2 innings with a 2.10
ERA. He earned second team All-CIF, second team
all-state and first team all-league accolades. “We
were able to sign a very physical two-way player in
Mitchell Hayes. He possesses a very good fastball
and curve ball, along with a powerful lefthanded
bat and solid defensive skills. Mitchell had an
outstanding junior season in the Southwestern
League, which was regarded as one of the toughest
high school conference in the country in 2014.”This
spring Mitch gained a scholarship to play NCAA
Division I baseball for the University of Nevada.
Justin Harrer is a right-handed infielder for the
Washington State University Cougars. In 2016 as a
true freshman, Justin out-performed expectations,
which is rare for such a young athlete.
Justin’s prep career was at Sisters High School in
Sisters, OR. There he was a four-year letterwinner
in baseball and soccer, and a three-year winner
in basketball. He earned All-State first-team
honors as a sophomore and second-team honors
as a junior. In his senior year he was named the
4A State Player of the Year and Sky-Em Player of
the Year. That season, he hit .557 with 12 home
runs, 13 doubles and 62 RBI. Following the season
he was honorably named to the Perfect Game All-
American West team.
Harrer has already been selected in the Major
League Baseball Draft. In 2015, Justin was selected
in the 18th round of the draft by the San Diego Padres.
Austin Atwell is right-handed outfielder for Lindsey
Wilson, and hails from Clarksville, Tennessee.
In 2016, Austin played in 59 games while starting
52. In 179 at-bats he tallied 62 hits with 11 doubles,
a triple, and ten home runs for a .346 batting
average. He also had 44 RBI and 21 BB.
As a junior at Western Carolina in 2015, Austin
played in 33 games in left field. During the season
he put together an 11-game hitting streak from
late-April through mid-May.
Prior to Western Carolina, Atwell played at Columbia
State University, where he hit .335 as a
sophomore. He finished the season with 35 RBI
in helping the club to the conference and region
At Rossview High School, Austin set the Montgomery
County home run record with 14. He also
ranked inside his high school’s top 10 in career RBI
in a single season with 65 as a senior.
Derek Bontempo is a junior outfielder out of Bellevue
University. The right-handed hitter previously
played for Tacoma Community College and Decatur
On March 19 of this year Derek helped Bellevue
win two games against Clarke, 4-2 and 5-4. They
won another game the next day at Briar Cliff, 12-1.
The first game against Clarke was tied 2-2 going
into the bottom of the ninth, and Derek hit a
tworun home run to win the contest. Bontempo
went 3-for-5 with three RBI for the game. With a
batting average of .408, 10 home runs, and 69 RBI
in 2016, Derek certainly lives up to the image of a
Bellevue Bruin. The hard-hitting right handed outfielder
from Washington made First Team All-NSAA
Bontempo is a graduate of the Big League Edge
Performance Baseball academy founded by Jim
1960: Goldpanners Adopt Midnight Sun Game Tradition
World Famous Event Enriched by Future Major League Ballplayers
The Midnight Sun Game tradition dates back to the earliest days
of Fairbanks, Alaska. During the winter of 1905/06, two local pubs
bet bragging rights for the entire winter (plus a few incidentals) on
the outcome of the game. From there, the novelty of the event led
to outsiders being imported to take on the Fairbanks team. In the
first year of operation for the Goldpanners ball club, Red Boucher
recognized the novelty of the promotion, and the opportunity the
game offered to represent Fairbanks to the outside world.
BASEBALL’S MOST NATURAL PROMOTION
For over a century, a special baseball game has annually been held
in Fairbanks, Alaska on June 21st. On the longest day of each year
(with a full 24 hours of daylight in the vast Tanana Valley), Fairbanksans
celebrate the coming of summer with the playing of this traditional
game - which continues through the midnight hour and never uses
artificial lights. With Fairbanks a mere 150 miles south of the Arctic
Circle, the sun is just beginning to set in the North as the game of
baseball gets under way and, at its conclusion some three hours later,
the sun begins to rise again - also in the North.
It is a phenomenon ever so rare.
History of the Midnight Sun Series
Among the list of all-time championships listed on page 2, one important
statistic of success is missing - wins in the Midnight Sun Series.
Prior to 1963, the Midnight Sun Game was typically a one-off exhibition
between local clubs. However, the success of the Goldpanners in the National
Baseball Congress World Series in 1962 brought greater exposure
to the event. From that point forward, competition was easy to find and
import from Outside. With the cost of air travel as expensive as it is, it
makes sense to play a full series of games, to be highlighted by the midnight
ballgame. This is the Midnight Sun Series.
The “high noon at midnight” baseball game originated in Fairbanks in
1906. Every year since then it has been the ritual to play the game on
the solstice. Never once has artificial lighting been used for this unique
event, and only once in history (following the death of Bill Stroecker)
has the game been delayed because of darkness.
The Alaska Goldpanners baseball club, founded by World War II
veteran H.A. “Red” Boucher, adopted the Midnight Sun Game in
their first year of competition. The year was 1960, and Boucher led
the Goldpanners to a 11-0 victory over the Fairbanks Pioneers. The
Goldpanners have hosted the tradition every year since then. As
part of the annual celebration, the game is stopped at the half-inning
closest to midnight for the singing of the Alaska Flag Song.
Over the years, the W.G. & Eddie Stroecker Midnight Sun Game has
taken on a significance greater than that of any other team tradition
in sports. There is certainly no other team in baseball that hosts a
tradition as old. The famed World Series itself - which is the promotion
of no single team - is but three years older than the annual solstice
classic in Fairbanks.
Due to its novelty, the Midnight Sun Game has enjoyed wide
popularity. Baseball America called it one of the “12 Must See
Events for the Baseball Fan”. ESPN Magazine selected the Midnight
Sun Game as the Number One Destination for the “2010 Baseball Road
Trip”. GQ Magazine dubbed the tradition one of “86 Reasons to be
proud to be an American”, and in 2012 Yankees Magazine called the
event “Baseball’s Most Natural Promotion”. For Fairbanksans, the game
is a way to reflect on the passing of another year, and the survival of
another long winter.
In 1963, the first Midnight Sun Series opponent was the reigning national
champion Wichita Dreamliners. The midnight event was held as part
of a full series of seven games. The previous August, the Dreamliners
had beaten the Panners in the national championship game. Though the
Dreamliners continued their success against Fairbanks by winning the
series four games to two, a good time was had by all. A new era in the
tradition had been successfully launched.
From that year forward, an impressive array of competition was imported,
comprised of top teams from around the state, nation, and world.
1964: Sam Suplizio ‘67: Bill Seinsoth v. Japan 1972: Stanford’s Ray Young
73 : Bruce Robinson v. BYU 74: Bobo Brayton, Moss, Dietz 1995: Jacob Freeman v. San Fran. Seals
Midnight Sun Series vs. Japan. Red Boucher, Bill Lee, Yasuo Fujitsu, and MGR Masayuki Furuta
Grew up in AK and HI, made a pitstop
in CO to get my degree and make a few
friends. Now I’m living in the big NYC.
Singer, model, actress, adventurer
Set for M.S.G. Return in 2016
BASEBALL USED TO REBUILD FAIRBANKS SPIRIT FOLLOWING FIRE OF 1906
“PLAY BALL” IN THE
The history of the W.G. & Eddie
Stroecker Midnight Sun Game
revolves around the city of Fairbanks,
Alaska, and its unique dedication to
the sport of baseball.
From its earliest days as a gold
rush camp, Fairbanks has had
an almost religious devotion to
the sport of baseball. As will be
seen, one cannot tell the story
of the game without the city, nor
that of the city without the game.
Fairbanks was established -- through
providence or sheer chance -- as a
base of commercial operations in
1901. When gold was discovered
by Felix Pedro the following year,
the local population began to grow
significantly. As one might expect,
the culture that arrived was mix of
prospectors and adventurers, bringing
many scoundrels and law men to the
Tanana Valley of Central Alaska.
For four years, Fairbanks was booming
thanks to continuing gold strikes in
the surrounding valleys. Between
1903 and 1905, the gold take coming
from Fairbanks grew from $40K to
$6 million dollars annually. The
freewheeling spirit that typified the
entirety of the earlier gold rush era
embedded itself completely in the
camp of Fairbanks -- which became
the final destination in that illustrious
and infamous period in the history of
the American West.
Baseball emerged as a highly popular
form of recreation, and competition
was vigorous. Large sums of money
were routinely wagered on single
plays. With only so many ways for a
newly rich man to throw his money
around the community in those
reckless days, it is easy to imagine
how culturally significant those
early games really were.
From the very beginning,
Fairbanks’ love of baseball unified
its community spirit. No event
demonstrates the importance of
baseball in Fairbanks’ early days
more than the very first midnight
sun baseball contest.
In the spring of 1906, sawdustinsulated
wood buildings along the
Chena River broke into flames. The
entire population sprung into action
to save the chief commerical depot
of the gold trade. Without enough
water pressure to adequately fight
the fire, the Northern Commercial
Company thought to burn 2,000
pounds of bacon in its boilers.
The Great Fire of Fairbanks broke
during the last week of May in 1906.
The blaze devastated commerce
related to the gold trade. Instead of
allowing this dreadful blow to cripple
the town’s morale, immediate
plans were made to rebuild. In
the most critical moment of the
life of Fairbanks, the community
determined to survive. It was at this
time that the gold camp became a
true frontier town.
Within a month, the entire population
built a new life on top of the ashes
of the old. This quick success
made the arrival of summer a
time of great celebration. Local
hero Eddie Stroecker organized a
special midnight “base ball” game
to commemorate the longest day
of the year. Apparently, the fire
110TH MIDNIGHT SUN GAME
PICS BY DUANE NELSON
relocated itself into the competition
of the athletes and the rowdiness of
“Fully 1,500 people were present
and there has never been
such hooting at a local game.”
June 22, 1906
The spectacle electrified
Fairbanksans with a sense of
accomplishment and a renewed
hope for the future. Baseball saw
continued enthusiasm through the
remainder of season. From that
time forward, the midnight game
became a standard of Fairbanks
For the first decade of the tradition,
vigorous contests were held
between town teams. Local clubs
- such as founding host California
Bar - battled for supremacy at
midnight under the watchful eye of
Old Sol. Winning the wildly popular
game bought the victors bragging
rights throughout the entire Arctic
During this early era, local prospector
and California Club bartender Ed
Stroecker was the towering player
and promoter. He was called “Dad
Stroecker” in his playing days, and
“The Grand Old Man” afterwards.
A poem with that title recalls his
mythic stature. To observers, the
greatness of his community standing
was matched only by the ferocity of
his athleticism. So noted the local
“Ed Stroecker, the daddy of them all
in the game at Fairbanks today, will
be in uniform, which means that there
will be plenty of ginger in the play.
If Stroecker doesn’t get the players
and the fans enthused it will be
because they haven’t got it in them.”
June 21, 1916
(cont. on page 26)
Eddie Stroecker, driving force behind the first Midnight Sun Game.
Son William G. Stroecker, President of
Goldpanners organization for 48 seasons
Fairbanks Pipeline to the Big Time
Over 200 Program Graduates in Major League Baseball
H.A. “Red” Boucher was a pioneer in numerous fields. In summer
baseball, Boucher recognized the quality of the amateur athlete,
noting in 1960 that “collegiate baseball is becoming a viable source
for major league talent.” By forming a roster comprised solely of
amateur players - utilizing no professional or semi-pros, as was the
custom of the day - Red paved the way for collegiate baseball to
become the direct route to the major league it is today.
Among the roughly 1,500 players and coaches to have donned a
Goldpanners uniform through the 2015 season, hundreds have
continued their careers into professional baseball, with 204 having
made it all the way to the pinnacle of professional baseball in Major
There is perhaps no better way to measure the success that the
Alaska Goldpanners program has attained over the years than by
the number of players they have sent to the professional ranks and
the major leagues. The Goldpanners have so many players in the
bigs this season in fact, that they could conceivably field a competitive
club on the major league level of ex-players alone.
Many explanations for the immense success of Goldpanners alumni
can be offered, but perhaps the easiest explanation is the intense
conditioning only baseball in Alaska can provide. Raising the overall
demands - physical as well as mental - upon a person teaches
them how to deal with adversity and raise the intensity of their approach.
All Sourdoughs are familiar with this phenomenon. Panner
athletes are taken far from home, and are expected to perform
every day of the week against top-notch competition (unlike the
collegiate season, which plays only on weekends). Mix in the ruggedness
of the Alaskan experience, and the athlete is forced to find
a previously unapproached level of mental and physical discipline
in order to succeed.
A number of Goldpanners are also ascending to the top of the
game in MLB front offices. Including players and personnel, there
were four Panners on the 2015 world champion Kansas City Royals.
The advancement seen by Goldpanner alums in the ranks of
MLB personnel is an exciting recent development. Securing such
high-ranking, off-field MLB personnel positions is at least as much
an accomplishment as achieving an on-field roster spot. For Dan
Pastorini (68), the top of the game was as starting Quarterback for
the Houston Oilers N.F.L. franchise.
Listed on this page are the Goldpanners to have ascended
to the major leagues, listed by their debut date and
major league club. The latest Panner to reach the big
leagues is Dustin Garneau from the 2007 club.
Major League Baseball Debuts
Debut Name Club
Dan Pastorini (NFL)
Ed Vande Berg
Debut Name Club
Jose Cruz Jr.
1964: Tom Seaver Auditions for U.S.C. Scholarship in Fairbanks
Boucher and Dedeaux Establish Partnership and Create Fabled Fairbanks “Pipeline to the Big Time”
The Goldpanners were a hit everywhere after finishing second in the nation in 1962. In a short
period of time, Red formed relationships with several West Coast colleges as he promoted summer
baseball in Alaska. But it was Boucher’s bond with U.S.C. coach Rod Dedeaux that put the
Goldpanners on the map. Dedeaux had one of the top college programs in the country. And
Boucher, in Alaska, could help build these young boys into men. Dedeaux sent a young pitcher
with hopes of transferring into U.S.C. up to Fairbanks to be sized up by Red.
Tom Seaver set the standard for a generation of big
league pitchers. In his twenty-year career in the
Major Leagues, the right-handed fireballer won
311 games and notched 3,640 strikeouts, while
posting a 2.86 career ERA, and picking up three Cy
Young awards. Seaver was elected overwhelmingly
to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992
-- the first year he was eligible for the ballot -- by
the highest percentage in history.
But before Seaver became the National League’s
1967 Rookie of the Year, and a world-famous New
York Mets champion in 1969, “Tom Terrific” was an
Alaska Goldpanner. He played in Fairbanks for two
seasons with the Panners (1964-65), after his first
year of college ball, at Fresno City College, and second
after his transfer to the University of Southern
The transfer to USC came as a direct result of Tom’s
progress during his summer with the Fairbanks
club. In those days, Panner manager Red Boucher
had struck a highly successful relationship with legendary
USC coach Rod Dedeaux, who in this case
wanted to make sure Tom was good enough to deserve
a college scholarship.
Red Boucher: “Tom was of the caliber I would call,
‘the typical Goldpanner’. I didn’t have to teach him
much as far as baseball was concerned.”
Tom Seaver: “For me, it was just going to be an
adventure going to Alaska. I mean, for a kid from
Fresno? No way. I very gladly got on the plane, and
went on to Fairbanks.”
Upon his arrival in Alaska, he was greeted by Goldpanners
manager Red Boucher. Mr. Boucher gave Seaver
a uniform and then drove directly to the park, where
the Goldpanners were playing the Bells from Washington
State. The score was tied at 2-2. Tom was asked
to get in uniform and go to the bullpen.
Tom Seaver: “They picked me up at the airport. I got
in the car, and my uniform was in the car! They said,
‘get dressed’, because they were playing. I didn’t know
where we were going. I didn’t know anybody on the
So we drive to the stadium, and I got out and went to
the bullpen... which is where pitchers - young and old
- go and spend their time. All of a sudden, they called
down there and said ‘get loose, you are going to be in
the game next inning.’ And I pitched in the game.”
By the sixth inning, Tom was brought into the game,
having just got off the plane. At the mound, he met
College World Series MVP Bud Hollowell. Buddy
played for USC during the college season, and was to
be Tom’s catcher for the Goldpanners. Seaver struck
out the first batter he faced, got the next one to pop
up, and went on to win the game.
Tom Seaver: “If there is one thread that runs through
Red Boucher and Rod Dedeaux, it is their enthusiasm
for what they are doing. And especially talking about
Even after establishing himself in Major League Baseball,
Tom would keep in touch with Red. One of the
last times they were together was at the 80th birthday
party for Rod Dedeaux at USC.
Seaver started the 1965 Midnight
Sun Game, facing Dedeaux’s
“To describe Monday night’s
Midnight Sun game as dramatic
would be the understatement
of the year. It was more like the
closing scene from a fabulous, but
unbelievable Hollywood production...
From the very first inning it was
evident that the Trojans and the
Panners had come to play ball, and
play ball they did. Tom Seaver and
John Herbst, teammates in 1964
with the Goldpanners and this
college year with USC were facing
each other as Seaver started for
the Panners and Herbst for USC. It
developed as a tight pitching duel
to the fifth inning when Seaver,
making a bare-handed play on a
two hopper of the bat of Herbst,
had the ball catch him between the
fourth and small fingers and split
his hand.” Stan Caufield
Luckily, Tom was not seriously
injured by the line drive. By
the time his career was over,
Tom Seaver was regarded as
one of the greatest pitchers
ever. He was voted into the MLB
Hall of Fame with the highest
percentage of votes in history.
Throughout the decades since 1964, the “Boucher/
Dedeaux Pipeline” to Fairbanks has resulted in many
other similar situations, including the Fairbanks careers
of other USC baseball luminaries, such as Steve
Kemp, Dave Kingman, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, and Bret
USC Head Coach Rod Dedeaux
Tom Seaver :“Your program, Red, was a vital step in my progress
toward reaching a world championship and specifically the Cy Young
award of 1969. I send my heartfelt thanks to you and the members of
the Goldpanners organization -- May it never cease to exist.”
Tom Seaver Quote and 1965 Pitching Motion
"My two years as an Alaska Goldpanner
remain as some of the fondest memories
in my baseball career."
1965: First Ever MLB Draftee
The Goldpanners are the Yankees of the MLB Draft
No other amateur sports organization in the world has
had more players drafted to play in professional ball.
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks
own the Major League Baseball draft
like no other team in baseball history.
There have been a record 1,170 player
selections devoted to Goldpanner ballplayers,
dating back to 1965 and Rick
Monday -- the very first player ever
drafted by a major league franchise.
Of those picks, there have been 125
first round selections, and 19 were
either the very first or second pick of
the entire draft! In addition, there have
been over 200 players to reach Major
League Baseball. This, too, is a record
among all non-professional teams, and
the 16% average of drafted Goldpanners
to reach MLB is well ahead of the
average ratio of 1 draftee in every 33
(3%) to reach baseball’s pinnacle .
Dodgers broadcaster Rick Monday,
who played 19 years in the major
leagues from 1966-84, was the
No. 1 selection overall by the Kansas
City Athletics in baseball’s first
amateur draft in 1965. The 1964
Goldpanners infielder/outfielder recalls
that historic draft 46 years ago:
“Nobody really knew how the process
was going to work. I had talked to
quite a few ballclubs, but Kansas City
was going to have the first pick. Their
scout, Art Lilly, had talked with me
very briefly when I was with Arizona
State. He said there was a real good
chance that the Athletics would select
me as the number one pick. But
on the periphery of all of this, nobody
knew exactly what was going to happen.
No one knew the effect it was
going to have on both baseball overall
and the people who were going to be
signed out of high school or college.
Actually, I had attorneys coming to
me saying, “Look, let’s take this to
court because if you’re selected
number one, why should you negotiate
with only one ballclub?” And
my first question was “How long will
this process take?” They said, “Oh,
about three to five years.” I said, “Forget
that, I’m going to play baseball.”
So we were in Omaha, Nebraska on
the day of the draft. Arizona State
was ready to play the opening game
of the College World Series. We
were in uniforms, sitting in the stands
and waiting for the preceding game to
be over. Someone comes up and says
“It’s just come out that you were Kansas
City’s first pick in the draft.” I went out
that night and struck out three times.
Then (Kansas City Owner) Charlie Finley
flew into Omaha and Sal Bando and
I were drafted off the same team. It was
an opportunity for me to reach out and
try to grab the brass ring, something I
dreamed about as a kid wearing a Little
League uniform and watching the
Dodgers play in the Coliseum. .
What’s nice about having been the
first selection in the very first draft
is that I get to relive the dream and
the opportunity when that door was
opened. Every year in June, it takes
me back to that very first year.” .
Four days after he was drafted, with A’s
owner Charles O. Finley in the stands,
Monday homered in a 2-1 win over
Ohio State to lead the Sun Devils to
their first College World Series championship.
Monday would sign the largest
bonus in the 1965 draft, $100,000,
and went on to enjoy a productive 19-
year big league career. He remains in
the game as a broadcaster for the Los
Dan Pastorini Home Run Swing
The 55 Greatest Alaska Goldpanners
Chosen During the Team’s 55th Season
Life-long Mentors for Fairbanks Baseball
All-Time Greatest: Emmitt Wilson & Sean Timmons
1966: Goldpanners Win World Championship
Only Independent Team of Any Sport to Win World Title
The Goldpanners organization is the most
high-profile not-for-profit civic club in the
city of Fairbanks. Throughout the history of
the program, it has also proudly served as a
representative of the Golden Heart City to
the rest of the world. At a time when the
world knew little about Fairbanks aside from
the aviation exploits of men such as Joe
Crosson, Noel Wien, and Howard Hughes,
the Goldpanners burst onto the national
scene with an unlikely Cinderella showing at
the 1962 NBC World Series.
The novelty of being from the newly minted
State of Alaska, in addition to the high level
of play on the field, resulted in the Goldpanners
developing a cult following around
the nation. These days, the club’s fame has
spread across the entire world, allowing it to
represent the Alaskan culture of the Tanana
Valley. Due in part to the internet, the club’s
profile has risen to heights unparalleled by
any other amateur sports team.
The Goldpanners first met a team from outside
the 50 states in 1965 against Nassau,
Bahamas, in the N.B.C. Tournament.
The Panners made a huge splash on the international
scene in 1966 when Red Boucher
took the team to Honolulu to represent the
United States in the World Amateur Tournament
and shocked the reigning global
champion, the Japanese national team, by
winning two straight games in the best-ofthree
The Goldpanners also won the Hawaiian Invitational
Tournament while on the island.
In 1968, an eight-city tour of Japan provided
yet another opportunity for the Goldpanners
to present America to the rest of
In 1972, when anti-Communist tensions
still ran at their peak, the Goldpanners
were called upon to represent America by
taking on the Cuban National Team.
That same year, USA Baseball officials discussed
plans to organize the Panners into a
post-season USA National Team, travelling
to far-flung destinations as official ambassadors
of the country.
The first meeting with a professional team
from outside the U.S. came in 1974 when
the Panners knocked off the Cordoba Cafeteros
of Mexico in the Kamloops International
Tournament in Kamloops, British
Throughout the following three decades,
the Panners face a variety of international
teams, including from China, Guam, Mexico,
Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Netherlands,
Nicaragua, and the Ukraine.
In 1991, the Goldpanners played the Moscow
Red Devils at Jack Murphy Stadium.
This season the Goldpanners continued
the tradition of playing in large stadiums by
facing the Seattle Studs at Cheney Stadium
following a game between the Triple-A Tacoma
Rainiers and the Reno Aces.
Out of all the varied competition, Jim Dietz
declared in 1972, “Cuba is the Best Team
We Will Ever Play
1967: Mike Adamson First Goldpanner to Skip Minor Leagues
Twenty players have skipped the minor leagues; six are Goldpanners
Nine players made the majors from the 1966
Goldpanners Of these, two - Bob Boone and
Bill Lee - forged nearly Hall of Fame worthy
careers. However, it is little known pitcher
Mike Adamson who made the most immediate
impact upon the game of baseball.
Adamson’s stuff was so good for the Goldpanners
in 1966 (9-0-0 record, 1.43 ERA),
and U.S.C. in the spring of 1967, that he
bypassed the minor leagues entirely, making
his professional debut in the American
League pitching for the Baltimore Orioles..
On June 6, 1967 Mike Adamson was drafted
by the Orioles in the 1st round (1st pick) of
the 1967 amateur draft (Secondary Phase).
He signed on June 27. At that time he was
the first player in draft history to go straight
to the major leagues.
Though seemingly taken from the realm of
fantasy, similar meteoric advancements have
been enjoyed by numerous Goldpanners.
In fact, out of twenty modern players
like Mike to have made their professional
debuts in MLB, six are Goldpanners!
And there could have been more. David Clyde
was set to pitch in Growden Park for the Goldpanners
in June of 1973. Instead, he found
himself pitching in Arlington Stadium for the
Texas Rangers Major League Baseball club.
Clyde, who was a bat boy for the Goldpanners
in the 1967 NBC World Series, had long
desired to play for Fairbanks. However, the
opportunity to vault directly to the top was
too incredible to ignore. That, and the contract
terms that were being offered.
David received a $125,000 ($617,769 in current
dollar terms) signing bonus, which was
the highest bonus ever given to a draft pick
at the time.
Nevertheless, David was apparently greatly
disappointed by this denial of his boyhood
dream, and he took the time to write
Goldpanners management expressing his
The leap straight to the major leagues is
not easy on anyone.. and Mike Adamson
was no exception.
The 19-year-old’s first appearance came on
July 1, against the Cleveland Indians. Adamson
appeared in 3 games for the 1967
Orioles posting a 0-1 record in 3 appearances,
before being sent to the International
League Rochester Red Wings for the
remainder of the season. While there he
won 3 games while losing 4, pitching 60 innings
and turning in a good 1.95 ERA.
Mike started 1968 with the Red Wings,
winning 8 games and losing 4 in 60 innings
and posted a 3.07 ERA. He was called up to
the Orioles for the remainder of the season,
going 0-2 in 7.7 innings and posted a
In 1969 Mike was with both the Orioles and
Red Wings clubs, building a 11-8 record in
149 innings with a 4.17 ERA with the Red
Wings and going 0-1 in 6 games with the
Orioles. This year was his last appearance
in the majors.
Mike appeared in 27 games with the Rochester
club in 1970, winning 4 and losing 5
in 95 innings with a 4.36 ERA. The young
man spent 1971 with three different minor
league teams, with an overall record of 1-3
in 74 innings and a combined 8.06 ERA.
At age 23 the right-hander had spent 5 seasons
in professional baseball and decided
to look elsewhere for a career.
FEB 1966: Tommy Lasorda and
future N.L. Rookie of the year
Don Sutton are in Fairbanks for
the A67 & Alaska Goldpanners
Winter Carnival. A banquet is
held at Club Switzerland.
1971: Winfield Becomes Every Day Player
Minnesota used Dave sparingly as a pitcher; the Panners let him play.
Dave Winfield used his prowess in the outfield, and his ferocity at the
plate, to drive his career straight into the MLB Hall of Fame. Dave is
the second Goldpanner to be inducted into that illustrious fraternity.
Allan Simpson, Sports Writer June 28, 1972
The story of how Dave Kingman gave up pitching to become one of baseball's top hitters
has now been chronicled. It was the year 1969, as the story goes, that Kingman,
then a sophomore pitcher out of the University of Southern California, was recruited
by the Alaska Goldpanners to play ball for the summer in Fairbanks. His reputation
as a pitcher at the time was such that he was considered one of the top collegiate
throwers in the country.
However, that summer the Goldpanners, though still respecting his ability as a pitcher,
also recognized his unlimited potential as a hitter like no one else had before,
and in a bold move they converted the six foot six inch slugger from a pitcher to an
outfielder. And since that switch, Kingman has quickly risen to prominence, gaining
nationwide acclaim for his slugging exploits with the San Francisco Giants. All
this because the Goldpanners took it upon themselves to convert the multi-talented
slugger from a pitcher to an everyday ball player.
And now that they've seen what's happened to Kingman, could history repeat itself?
Could the Goldpanners have another Kingman in their midst? The name this time is
Dave Winfield, and the similarities between his career to date and that of Kingman's
at a comparable stage are actually quite amazing.
Winfield, like Kingman, was originally recruited by the Panners as a pitcher, but his
recent batting exploits have been so awesome of late, that the natural question to
ask is: could he switch positions and become another Kingman?
Tuesday night at Growden Park, Winfield, who like Kingman also towers to a height
of 6-6, put on another hitting exhibition which even Kingman would have been
proud of, as he cracked a grand slam home run and a run-scoring single to power
the Goldpanners to a 5-2 victory over the Grand Junction, Colo., Eagles. Winfield's
bases loaded blast, which came with the Panners trailing 2-1 in the fifth, not only
personally won the game for the Goldpanners, but it also helped them halt Grand
Junction's win streak at 14 games, after the Eagles had taken the opener 7-5 in extra
innings. The offensive display by Winfield follows one he put on Saturday when he
slammed a double and two home runs—a performance which wasn't even good
enough to win his own game.
So in only 12 official at-bats this season, Winfield is hitting .500 and has slugged three
home runs. That’s ahead of the pace Kingman established in ‘69 when he clubbed
seven home runs in a total of 64 times at bat. “We’ve known all along what Winfield’s
capable of doing with the bat,” said manager Jim Dietz “and that’s why we’ve
tried to work him into the lineup occasionally.” “He’ll play more and more in the outfield
as the season progresses, but whether he’ll ever become a full-time outfielder,
it’s hard to say at this time.”
Dave in a Letter to Don Dennis: “I have probably
never adequately thanked you and the entire
Goldpanner family for giving me the opportunity
to live and play in Fairbanks. Even had I
not achieved the level of success I now enjoy in
professional baseball, I would still appreciate the
opportunity as much.”
1976: Andy Messersmith Becomes First True Free Agent
Landmark Court Ruling Against MLB Reserve Clause Heralds New Era in Baseball
Though the Panner program has graduated a large number of important ballplayers to the big
leagues, what is truly amazing is the broad impact that the cream of that crop has had in shaping
the state of the game itself. By personally taking on the highest echelons of power in baseball and
then defeating them, Andy Messersmith became the most important player since Babe Ruth.
Right-hander made history by challenging reserve clause
By Gary Caruso / ChopTalk Magazine
The Braves don’t open the regular season until the end of
March, but college baseball is in full swing. Among a few
former Braves coaching in college is Andy Messersmith, the
pitcher who in 1976 changed the course of baseball history
-- with the assistance of Ted Turner.
Messersmith, a product of the University of California at
Berkeley, didn’t like how the media portrayed him and his
quest to break down the reserve clause. He had little to say
to the press then, and little has been heard from him since
Messersmith, 62, is the head baseball coach at Cabrillo College,
a community college in Aptos, Calif., located on the
Pacific coast, south of San Francisco, between San Jose and
Monterey. He just started the third season of his second
stint at the school, where he also coached from 1986-91.
Last year, the Seahawks were 18-22 overall, 10-15 (fourth
place) in the Coast Conference.
Veteran Braves fans are sure to remember Turner signing
Messersmith in 1976 -- to baseball’s first free agent contract
-- and promptly issuing him uniform No. 17 with the “nickname”
Channel on the back to promote his TV station.
Messersmith was one of the game’s best pitchers from
1969-75, twice winning 20 games. He started Game 1 of
the World Series for the Dodgers in 1974, when he tied Phil
Niekro for the league lead in victories.
In 1975, Messersmith played without a contract and claimed
he thus became a free agent who no longer was subject to
the infamous “reserve clause” that basically bound players
to their teams for life at that point. Major League Baseball
refused to recognize his claim, and the matter went before
an arbitration panel set up to handle disputes between
players and management.
The panel ruled that the reserve clause was no more than
a one-year option, thus making Messersmith and Expos
pitcher Dave McNally the first free agents. McNally was
injured and retired. Messersmith likely would have found
himself without a job.
If not for Turner, the maverick owner looking to make a
splash with his new team and trying to create viewership
interest for a major block of programming on his TV station.
Turner signed Messersmith for what he called a “lifetime
contract” of $1 million. Actually, it was a three-year deal
that would be laughed at on today’s market. In 1976, however,
it was major news.
In fact, more than three decades later, he’s still not interested
in talking publicly. ChopTalk made three attempts to
interview him, including one through the Cabrillo journalism
department and one through a sports writer in his area, and
he declined all of them. He does talk to the press in his area,
but only about his players and team, possibly making him
the most-reticent college coach in the country.
Messersmith won 39 games in 1974-75, led the NL in winning
percentage in ‘74 (.769) and in starts, complete games
and shutouts in ‘75 (40/19/7). He won Gold Gloves both
seasons and made the All-Star team both years, giving him
three career selections. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, however, few
player acquisitions worked well for the Braves, and this signing
fit that description.
Messersmith, only 30 when Turner signed him, never really
was the same pitcher again, though that was due to injuries,
not a lack of talent.
The right-hander started slowly in ‘76. He missed Spring
Training due to contract negotiations and didn’t win a game
until his seventh start on May 17. In June, he appeared to
be the pitcher the Braves thought they were getting -- going
5-1 and earning his fourth All-Star selection. He injured a
hamstring right before the All-Star break, though, and that
-- combined with a sore shoulder -- hampered him during
the second half and he finished 11-11 with a 3.04 ERA in 29
games (28 starts).
Messersmith won just five games in 1977, shutting down
after a July 3 elbow injury that required surgery. The Braves
sold him to the Yankees, and he pitched briefly and ineffectively
for them in ‘78 and for the Dodgers in ‘79 before retiring.
His career record is 130-99 in 12 seasons, and his 2.86
lifetime ERA and .212 opponents’ batting average are strong
evidence of the quality of pitcher he was when healthy.
Ted Simmons: “Curt Flood stood up for us; Jim Hunter showed us what was out there; Andy
Messersmith showed us the way. Andy made it happen for us all. It’s what showed a new life.”
Andy Messersmith : “I did it for the guys sitting on the bench, the utility men who
couldn’t crack the lineup with (the Dodgers) but who could make it elsewhere. These
guys should have an opportunity to make a move and go to another club. I didn’t do it
necessarily for myself because I’m making a lot of money. I don’t want everyone to think,
‘Well, here’s a guy in involuntary servitude at $115,000 a year. That’s a lot of bull and
I know it.”
Barry Bonds : “We should make it. We’re the ones doing the entertaining.”
Jim Bouton : “For a hundred years the owners screwed the players. For 25 years the
players have screwed the owners - they’ve got 75 years to go.”
Ted Turner : “Gentlemen, we have the only legal monopoly in the country, and we’ve
f------ it up.”
Andy in N.Y. Times : “I wasn’t prepared for the pressure that came down [after the Seitz
ruling and his Braves deal]. I didn’t know anything about it. I came out as the
dirty dog. That was a real hard thing for me. I just wasn’t ready for it.”
Andy Messesmith - 1974 National League Wins Champion
2.86 Career ERA (Seaver won in 1975 and had an identical 2.86 career ERA)
1983: Fourteen Panners Will Ascend to MLB
Goldpanners Comprise 6% of all Major Leaguers in Late 1980s
The 1983 season saw what was possibly the most talented Goldpanners squad
of them all, as attested by the record 14 players that later went on to play in
Major League Baseball. One of them is a future Hall of Famer.
The Goldpanners’ “Pipeline to the
Big Time” was strong throughout
the late 1960s. But by the time the
decade of the 1970s was over, the
Goldpanners’ output had blanketed
the professional game.
There were at least ten future major
leagues on six of the 1970s club
rosters. In the mid 1980s, however,
the floodgates opened, resulting
in a strong Goldpanners influence
throughout all levels of play.
The largest single group of budding
major leaguers played together on
the 1983 team. An astounding 14
total players from the club eventually
made Major League Baseball!
No other amateur team in history
has come close to either this
single season total, or the overall
Among all the recognizable names
on the list, of major leaguers from
the 1983 club, the one that stands
out the most is that of Barry Bonds.
Barry set the all-time season and
career home run records, among
many other achievements.
What is amazing about Barry’s time
with the Goldpanners is that, being
unable to crack the superbly talented
outfield, he was forced to handle
fielding duties at FIRST BASE.
That season, the Goldpanners
were sporting what NCAA Hall
of Fame coach Dave Snow called
“the most talented outfield I have
ever coached”. The trio of fielders
-- all future major leaguers -- were
dubbed the “Million Dollar Outfield”.
They were Mark Davis in left, Oddibe
McDowell in center, and Shane Mack
in right. The combination was lethal
to opponents, helping lead the Panners
to the title game in the 1983
NBC World Series.
Following is an article on the 1983
Goldpanners outfield, written by
Bob Lutz for the Wichita Eagle:
Outfielders Oddibe McDowell, Shane
Mack and Mark Davis are all speedsters
who help make the Fairbanks
Goldpanners’ offense potentially lethal.
The players are sharing a room
in Wichita during the National Baseball
“We just call it the ‘Gold Room”, said
Goldpanners Manager Dave Snow.
(Barry Bonds later commented to Don
Dennis, “‘The Gold Room? Have you
been in there? It’s more like the ‘Mold
Snow hasn’t posted armed guards at
the ‘Gold Room’ door to protect his
outfielders. But it might not be a bad
“All three of these kids are outstanding
prospects,” Snow said. “It’s the best
collection of outfield talent I’ve ever
McDowell, Mack and Davis all come
from the baseball-rich Pacific 10 Conference.
McDowell patrols center field
for Arizona State. Mack is the right
fielder for UCLA and Davis plays center
McDowell and Mack were two-thirds of
the All-Pac 10 outfield and both were
All-Americans. Davis was an honorable
mention All-Pac 10 choice.
Stanford co-sports information director
Bob Vazquez is astounded that
all three are together with Fairbanks,
which has a 4-1 tourney record.
Hutchinson defeated the Goldpanners,
5-4, Friday night. ‘Ten years down the
road,” Vazquez said, “that’s an all-star
San Diego native is batting .322 with
35 RBI and 47 runs scored and has
stolen 26 bases in 29 attempts.
Davis, who plays left field for Fairbanks,
admits he needs to work on his
“My arm is not really strong yet,” Davis
said. “I’ve learned a lot this summer,
though. My biggest goal was to learn
how to bunt. With my speed that has
to become a part of my game.”
Davis has had a pair of bunt singles
in the tournament and has stolen two
“I’m not your typical leadoff hitter,” Davis
said. “I don’t like to take strikes and
I don’t like to look for walks.”
But Davis has drawn 29 walks to lead
the Goldpanners - even if he doesn’t
Says Snow: “Mark’s a guy who continually
works to improve his skills and to
become a complete players. He’s got
a lot of confidence in his game and I
think he can be a prospect as a center
fielder after he improves his throwing.
McDowell hit .352 and stole 36 bases
for Arizona State this season, then was
the top pick in the secondary phase of
the draft - for players who previously
have been chosen.
But he remains unsigned because
the Twins aren’t offering enough
money, he says. “I’m not looking for
six figures,” McDowell said. “They
just haven’t come up with the five
figures I want.”
The book on McDowell is that he
can do everything - run, hit, throw -
though he hasn’t gotten untracked in
“I haven’t done a whole lot in this
tournament,” McDowell said. “Hopefully,
things will start going right for
me sooner or later.”
The Hollywood, Fla., native has
been a valuable commodity to major
league scouts since his high school
days - McDowell has been drafted
Hutchinson manager Dan Radison
was coaching at Fort Lauderdale,
Fla Junior College when McDowell
was still in high school.
“I knew he was going to be a great
one all along,” Radison said. “He
hasn’t shown what kind of hitter he
really is in this tournament. He really
doesn’t even belong in this tournament.
If he’d sign he probably be
playing Double A ball.”
As Fairbanks General Manager Don
Dennis says, however, it’s difficult to
tell how far a player can go at such a
Davis is only 18 while Mack and Mc-
Dowell are 20. “There are just too
many variables,” Dennis said. “But I’d
have to say that these three are ticketed
for getting a shot to play in the big
So far in the NBC tournament, Mack
has be the best long-term prospect.
Davis’ stats with the Goldpanners are
better than McDowell’s or Mack’s. The
Mark Davis Oddibe McDowell Shane Mack
Jason Giambi 21
1967 Midnight Sun Game
The Kumagai jumped on starter
Bill Lee for four big runs to take
the lead in the top of the fifth on
three hits and two Panner errors.
Kato led off with a double
to left and after Furuta lined out
sharply to Nettles in right, came
riding home on Ito’s single. When
Klausen bobbled the ball Ito took
second, then Konishi drove Ito in
with a single to center and later
scored on Sunao Kawano’s booming
The Kumagai added to their lead
in the sixth, scoring three runs
on three bases on balls, Kazuo
Yamamoto’s single and another
Goldpanner error. The Panners
could do little off Fujitsu the rest
of the game as the little hurler
gave up but five hits while striking
out eight in the six innings that he
The Japanese had nine hits, including
three doubles and a triple.
Goldpanner pitchers Bill Lee and
Brent Strom aided the Japanese
case by issuing 10 walks, and the
usually reliable Goldpanner defense
chipped in with seven errors
allowing the Japanese to score 7
Japan drew first blood by scoring
a run in the first without the aid
of a hit after Teruyasu Jinno was
thrown out on a hopper to second.
Lee walked Hironori Kato and
Masayuki Furuta. Tomoyuki Ito hit
sharply to short to force Kato at
second but Alvin Strane’s throw to
first was wide of the mark for an
error allowing Kato to score from
The Goldpanners were held
scoreless until the fourth when
they scored all of their runs. Marvin
Galliher opened the inning with
a single to center and promptly
scored as Bill Seinsoth hit his second
home run in two nights. Yasuo
Fujitsu replaced starter Toshihisa
Okabe and got Steve Klausen on
a grounder to third. Jim Nettles
then tripled to right and scored as
Gary Sanserino lined a one baser
to left. - Stan Caufield, News-Miner
2008 Midnight Sun Game
It appeared Lee was there for novelty.
The tall, thick-legged left-hander played for the
Goldpanners in 1966 and 1967. He followed that
with a major league career in which he compiled
an 119-90 overall record in 10 years with the Boston
Red Sox and four with the Montreal Expos.
2nd Largest MSG Crowd Witnesses Lee’s Date with Destiny
His feet weren’t very stable on Growden’s soft
dirt, so he traded in his left shoe in for long cleats
from one of his teammates. He was a bit more
anchored then, but every pitch dug his left foot
further into the mound. “Every inning I went out
and I repaired the mound,” he said. “I’d get the
hole all the way up to about 5 inches deep, and
by the end of the inning it’d be down to China.”
By the end of the second inning, he was two runs
down, one from a wild pitch. It seemed like he
had dug himself too deep.
But the sun hadn’t set yet, not in the sky, nor for Lee.
In the average 60-something man, joints are much
stiffer, especially in the spine and rib cage. For a
pitcher, that puts more stress on the shoulder to
throw the ball, according to Greg Milles, a nineyear
physical therapist. “It would be something
if he was playing in a recreational softball game,”
Milles said, “but to be able to pitch fast-pitch ball
like that, it’s going to take a lot more wear and
tear on his rotator cuff and on his body in general.”
Two innings of overhand, full-force work
would have been a commendable feat for anyone
who qualifies for AARP discounts. And for Lee,
who is knocking on the door of Social Security,
it’s downright astonishing. So after the second,
when he looked vulnerable, no one would have
thought less of him for calling it a night.
Lee breezed through the third inning, but the
strain on his body was beginning to show. Panners
manager Tim Gloyd noticed Lee breathing
out of his mouth, gasping for air at times and
looking wobbly in his legs. “You could tell he was
old after he released the ball,” Gloyd said. “When
he was pitching, he was fine because he was so
Making matters worse, Lee was relying on his
heat more than usual. “The funny thing is: They
couldn’t hit my fastball,” Lee said. “It was weird,
you know? They hit my breaking ball. I made
some mistakes on my changeup and they hit that,
but any time I stayed hard, they couldn’t hit it, just
foul it back, foul it back, foul it back.”
“I went to places through adrenaline and the
crowd and everything,” he said. “Somehow my
body was 38 years old again. It was an emotional
game. I took my shoulder places it hasn’t been in
a long time.”
And he was still hurling through the sixth, which
was long enough for the Panners’ offense to give
him a 5-4 lead and the chance for a win. At this
point, Lee could not lose the game if he stayed
off the field. So it was surprising to see him put on
his glove and begin the seventh. As it turns out,
it was only to throw one final pitch. “I said, ‘Well,
I’m gonna make it a good one, so I challenged
the kid and he got a base hit,” Lee said.
Lee walked off the mound to a rousing ovation and with
no chance of a loss. The Panners slowly expanded
their lead to 10-4, and it seemed all but inevitable that
Lee was going to avenge his defeat in 1967.
With victory near, Lee’s mind wasn’t on his career
or where this accomplishment stood in baseball history.
His thoughts were of Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes
a Great Notion,” whose main character’s motto was
“Never give an inch!” and John McPhee’s “The Sense
of Where You Are” about the rise of basketball great
At 1:35 a.m., after a short period of deep dusk, the
sun was heading back up to the horizon in the bottom
of the ninth. The crowd chanted “we want
an out,” imploring that the Running Birds’ Crispin
Tarango, with two strikes against him and two
outs on the board, be the last batter of the night.
Tarango swung without contact. 10-6 Panners.
A win for Bill Lee under the midnight sun. The crowd
had erupted into applause the moment the ball popped
into Jeremy Gillan’s mitt.
The Byrds’ “Mr. Spaceman,”
with its folksy
twang, was soon at full
volume on the PA system,
warbling through the
claps and whoops from
Lee was at the mound almost
hands with youthful
“I’d finally redeemed myself
since ’67,” he said.
“Sometimes you gotta
wait a long time for it to
come back, you know?”
- Joshua Armstrong
Stroecker and the Spaceman
BILL LEE IN 2008
From touchdowns to home runs, Alex demonstrates
that the strikes of life only make a true athlete
undefeatable. Former UCLA football defensive
back, Alex Mascarenas had to change his plans
after suffering multiple concussions. Maybe football
was over for this 24 year-old, but the bats and
gloves from Santa Ana College gave him a second
chance in sports. Academically, he wants to pursue
a Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology.
Alex takes all his preparation seriously and continuously
inspires his peers through his driven
passion and focus. Alex has gained respect as the
team’s “dad” due to his experience in both football
in college, and baseball in high school. Plus, he is
the oldest member of the team.
“Knowing that it’s going to be your last time ever
playing just made me keep pushing.” Nothing’s
ever set in stone. Something is always out there for
you. Just find it and always keep working hard.”
Brandon Evans is climbing up the baseball ladder.
He rose from two seasons of junior college baseball
to now playing for the Nevada Wolfpack.
During the 2016 collegiate season, Brandon
played in 13 games with 10 starts before missing
the remainder of the season due to injury.
His season-high mark of three RBI came against
Prior to Nevada, Evans played for two seasons at
Santa Barbara City College. He played in 38 games
as a sophomore, batting .308 with 31 runs, 21 RBI
and 11 extra base hits, helping lead the Vaqueros
to a 33-11 record en route to a conference championship.
While at SBCC, Brandon was a two-year
letter winner. Brandon graduated from Oaks
Christian High School in Westlake, CA, where he
was a four-year letter winner. He only had 32 AB’s
for the Wolfpack in 2016, so coming to Fairbanks
this summer will provide him with valuable playing
Steven Weber is a sophomore first baseman for
Edmonds Community College. The left-handed hitter
has swatted 3 homers, 23 RBI, and has an average
of .289 this season in only 76 at-bats. In league
play, Steven hit .286 in 35 at-bats, with six doubles,
eight walks, and seven RBI. He also swiped five
bases. Weber’s 3-run double on March 18th broke
a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning to propel
the Tritons to a 5-2 victory over Tacoma Community
College. Weber was 2-for-3 with 4 RBI, 2 BB and
a stolen base.
Following the 2015 season, Steven was named to
the All-NWAC North First Team as a designated hitter.
His teammate, Brian Way, is from Sitka, Alaska.
Look for Weber to bring his “A” game to the Goldpanners
organization this season. Weber, perhaps
above all Panners, has the chance to prove that he
is a diamond in the rough. Scouts love those who
project as well as Steven..
Ryan Aguilar struggled in his first season as an Arizona
Wildcat but showed tremendous turnaround
this year. The transfer from Santa Ana College
started only 12 games and batted .190. “Coming in
last year, it was just a big transition,” Aguilar said.
“It just took me a year to figure out what the deal
is in D-1.”
Aguilar seems to have figured it out. In a year’s
time, he has gone from bit player to offensive
force. Heading into Arizona’s Pac-12 home opener
against UCLA on Thursday, Aguilar leads the Wildcats
in batting average (.350), slugging percentage
(.600) and RBIs (18).
Ryan is tied with projected first-round draft pick
Bobby Dalbec for the team lead in home runs
(four). Aguilar and teammate Zach Gibbons have
reached base in all 20 of Arizona’s games. “This
year I’m a little more relaxed,” Aguilar said. “I’m
just having fun, being thankful, and playing for the
Scott Sebald is a 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher from
Lindsey Wilson of the NAIA. Heading into the NAIA
World Series in 2016, Scott had 18 appearances,
starting 16 games. Over 112.2 innings pitched,
he struck out 119 batters to only 19 walks, an astounding
record of success. Opponents hit only
.228 against Scott, and he finished the regular season
with a 2.88 ERA. During the regular season, he
had ten wins and three losses.
Scott led the Lindsey Wilson baseball team to its
first-ever victory at the Avista-NAIA Baseball World
Series as the Blue Raiders took down The Master’s
(Calif.) by a 7-1 margin. Sebald (11-3) put forth another
gem on the mound with a complete-game
effort, his fifth in his last six starts, while striking
out a season-high 12 batters and allowing four hits
on 114 pitches. He also struck out 12 against Cumberlands
(Ky.) back on March 25. The senior faced
the minimum number of Mustang (41-18) batters
in six of his nine innings pitched.
Billy Sample rejoins the Goldpanners this year as an
assistant coach. William Amos Sample (born April 2,
1955 in Roanoke, Virginia), is a former professional
baseball player who played in the Major Leagues
primarily as an outfielder from 1978-1986. Sample
played for the Texas Rangers (1978-1984), New York
Yankees, (1985) and Atlanta Braves (1986). Over a
9-year career, Billy hit for a solid .272 average.
Primarily a broadcaster/writer after his playing days,
Sample has broadcast for the Braves, Seattle Mariners,
and California Angels, as well as contributing
to NPR, CBS Radio, ESPN, and MLB.com. As a writer,
Sample has been published in Sports Illustrated and
The New York Times, and was one of the columnists
at the inception of USA Today’s Baseball Weekly.
Though Billy recently added filmmaker to his résumé,
producing his award-winning screenplay into
the movie “Reunion 108” (an edgy, satirical comedy
with a baseball backdrop.) he is widely celebrated
as an author. His latest book can be purchased on
Amazon. If you see him, please say hi. Billy will also
take part in the Midnight Sun Game.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TWITTER.COM/GOLDPANNERS
FIRST BASEBALL PILGRIMS WELCOMED TO TANANA VALLEY
(Continued from page 9)
Even as Fairbanks transformed itself from a temporary gold camp into
an incorporated city, baseball maintained its civic importance. With
the fame of America’s northernmost city spreading, tourists arrived in
increasing numbers to observe the natural phenomenon of baseball
being played at midnight. Fresh arrivals to town (“Chechakos”)
celebrated the tradition alongside Sourdoughs, and took game reports
home to the Lower 48.
Struck by the novelty of the solstice event, journalists published word
of the game to an ever-widening audience. The earliest known report
was given by the Seattle Times in 1907. The tale of midnight baseball
traveled down the West Coast. In 1913, Sunset Magazine printed the
first of its many Fairbanks baseball stories, entitled “Play Ball at Midnight
- Showing How Fans Are in Evidence in Central Alaska on the Longest Day of
the Year”. In the article, H.C. Jackson engages a talkative Sourdough.
When asked if the tradition was new, the Fairbanksan replied, “New
nothing. Why, ever since the Fairbanks camp was struck in 1902, or as soon
afterward as we had suitable grounds, to be exact, we have been playing
ball at midnight on the longest day of the year.”
Colorful reporting, coupled with distribution of picture postcards of
the game, proved an irresistible lure. As transportation into Fairbanks
became more reliable, tourism increased dramatically. In 1918,
Nenana became the first outside ball team to join the spectacle.
Defying geographic obstacles to arrive in Fairbanks proved easier
than the threat of Eddie Stroecker. Stroecker started on the mound for
the locals, and beat the Nenana nine. Of Eddie it was written, “The
difference in the playing lies in the spirit of the nines. Dad Stroecker, captain
of the Van Dycks puts the pep in his men. He keeps them gingered up even
if the score is going against them.”
As the fame of the Midnight Sun Game tradition grew, so too did
commercial investment into Fairbanks. The mineral wealth of the
Tanana Valley was exploited, and numerous jobs were available.
This led to a continuing stampede of laborers and speculators into the
area. The tradition of solstice baseball in the 1920s and 1930s saw the
emergence of teams of industrial workers. These men played for large
corporations such as the Fairbanks Exploration Co. and Standard Oil.
The decade of the 1940s saw Fairbanks and the midnight tradition grow
dramatically. Fairbanks had become the central hub for military buildup
in Alaska. The lend-lease program utilized Fairbanks as the main
transfer site for eight thousand aircraft to China, the USSR, and America’s
European allies. As a result of the increased activity, Fairbanks saw
another population boom. Declaration of war in Europe and the threat
of Japanese invasion made Fairbanks even more critical as a center of
military activity. In 1942, on the day of the 37th Midnight Sun game, the
U.S. Government announced that Alaska’s western islands had been
occupied by the Japanese. Military bases around the Tanana Valley
were staffed with thousands of soldiers and the elaborate “Midnight
Sun League” was born. Each of the bases would hold versions of
the solstice classic. All told, there were around thirty held during the
decade. With so many new converts to the charm of the midnight
game, it was not long until word of the Fairbanks event spread all the
way around the world.
After the conclusion of the war in the Pacific in 1945, Fairbanks remained a
hub of military activity. Army surplus made the area resemble the beaches
of Normandy. Veterans often stayed in Alaska after their tour of duty expired
and the new population saw Fairbanks become a thriving city.
During the decade of the 1950s, baseball dominated sporting life in Fairbanks.
The North of the Range League was in full swing, and the Midnight Sun
Game was still a major event. 1959 saw the end of an era, as this would
be the last year that the host team for the midnight classic was staffed
entirely by Fairbanksans. In 1960, an entirely new life was given to the
tradition with the establishment of the Alaska Goldpanners baseball club.
The Goldpanners organization, founded by World War II veteran H.A. “Red”
Boucher, was increasingly staffed with college athletes from around the
nation. The Panners were a hit in Fairbanks, and won their first three Midnight
Sun games, en route to an appearance in the NBC National Championship
Game at Wichita (KS) in 1962. Their strong showing, and determined play
made them a hit everywhere they went. Tales of the midnight ballgame
followed along with them.
One thing that is certain about the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks ballclub is
a learned approach to decision making. The team is powered by a volunteer
Board of Directors. At the head of that body for 45-years was one main figure:
President William G. “Bill” Stroecker. Bill is the son of Eddie Stroecker -- founder
of the Midnight Sun game -- and, like his dad, he became the driving force
behind the Fairbanks team’s success in the contest. Bill’s relationship with the
Goldpanners dates back to 1962. Needing financial help to take the team
to the national tournament in Wichita, team founder Red Boucher contacted
Bill, who was the President of First National Bank. “I called Bill up and he said,
“How much do you need?” - Red Boucher
During the roaring decade of the 1970s, Fairbanks grew into the full-fledged
city it is today. The discovery of vast quantities of oil in Alaska’s North Slope
brought another population stampede to the Tanana Valley, which served
as a hub of operations for construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. With the
local population again flush with cash, ball games saw a resurgence of the
type of reckless enthusiasm -- on and off the field -- seen in its founding era.
Huge crowds surged through the stadium, and betting stakes were high. Oftentimes,
fist fights would break out in the stands. Thousands of fans watched
the Goldpanners win midnight games with regularity.
With Fairbanks, the Goldpanners, and the Midnight Sun game enjoying unprecedented
world-wide attention, teams began clamoring for the chance
to play under the midnight sun. Key opponents during the 1970s and 1980s
were college teams from around the nation. NCAA programs operated development
clubs during the summer, and the best were invited to Fairbanks
for the traditional game. The 1990s saw an increase in international teams
participating in the solstice event.
The decade of the 2000s was special for a number of reasons. Perhaps the
most obvious reason was the 100th playing of the traditional game. Media
from around the country was on hand to witness the 100th year of the solstice
tradition. Major League Baseball representatives were on hand, and following
the Goldpanners’ win they collected the hat and jersey of three-time
winning pitcher Sean Timmons. Sean’s gear was put on display at the MLB
Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and he was invited to participate in their 2005
ceremony alongside Kirby Puckett and Wade Boggs. Greg Harris, the Major
League Baseball Hall of Fame Vice President of Procurement, said: “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 it’s own.”
Fairbanks ballplayers are welcome
to take part in the Goldpanners
experience. The 2015
season saw participation of the
largest amount of local players in
team history. No less than eight
residents of the Tanana Valley
saw game action. Many others
spent time with the team on the
bench or at team practices. Local
residents are encouraged to have
their family participate in coaching
clinics or enjoy mentoring
through the Panner Parent program.
Contact Rhonda Lohrke
for details on how to join.
SCOOTER BYNUM CONNOR JOHNSON BRANDON POCHE STEVE SHAVER
26 DAKOTA TAYLOR MATT WIXON MATT VAN MUELKEN TANNER SHOEMAKER
Rick Monday, 1964
THE GREATEST PLAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
On April 25, 1976, in the fourth inning in Los Angeles, 1964 Goldpanner Rick
Monday saved an American flag from being burned by two protestors in the outfield
at Dodger Stadium.
“I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t have done the same thing, if they were in
the same position,” Monday was saying the other day from Los Angeles, where
he threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday as the Dodgers celebrated the anniversary
of his heroics with a video tribute. “I’m just glad I was close enough to
do something about it.’’
Do something? Monday did plenty. And he vividly remembers every detail. He
was playing center field for the visiting Chicago Cubs when he noticed an unusual
buzz in the crowd. “Ballparks have their own personality, and all of a sudden the
personality of Dodger Stadium changed,” So Monday looked around, and that’s
when he noticed that two dolts had jumped the outfield fence and one of them was
carrying an American flag.
“Fortunately,” he said, “the first match blew out.” Monday arrived as the second
match was lit. He angrily shoved the amateur arsonists and snatched the flag
away. “You’re darn right, I was mad,” Monday said. “What they were trying to do
was wrong. It was wrong in 1976, and I still think it’s wrong today. And it’s wrong
for a lot of reasons. That flag represents all the rights and freedoms that we have
in this country. If you desecrate the flag, you desecrate the efforts of all the people
who fought and died to protect those rights and freedoms.
“I’m sure those feelings were reinforced by six years in the United States Marine
Corps Reserve, but I just couldn’t let that happen.’’
“I think it solidifed the thought process of hundreds of thousands of people who
represented this country in fine fashion.. many of whom lost their lives.” Rick
“It was a very heroic move on his part. The flag could have easily just burned
there until a couple ushers came out, but Rick acted, and i think we’re all very,
very happy that he did.” Steve Garvey
“It is not only the geographic pinnacle of baseball, it’s
the spiritual pinnacle as well.” Jim Caple, ESPN
(Danny Martin/ News-Miner)
Dietz Drying Field
Grandstands in 1967
Seating From Sick’s
The Alaska Goldpanners might never clinch
a national championship at Growden Memorial
Park, but still the park has been as much
a part of the Goldpanners story as anything
else. The Panners’ first game at the park
was on August 6th, 1961, making the 55-
year old facility eligible for state historical
site recognition this fall.
Located at the foot of the historic Second
Street in Fairbanks, Growden has been the
home of the Goldpanners since they moved
away from their first home, Griffin Park.
The ballpark, formerly known as Memorial
Park, was renamed in 1964. It was dedicated
to the memory of James Growden
who, along with his two sons, lost his life in
Valdez during the Good Friday Earthquake.
Growden was a graduate of Fairbanks High
School, a former teacher in the local school
system, and recognized throughout the state
for his work with young people. At the time of
his death Growden was a teacher and coach
at Valdez High School, although the day of
his death he was to be hired for teaching
and coaching work at Monroe High School
for the coming school year.
Additional history was added to the story
when, in 1964, it became the first outdoor
lighted sports facility in Alaska. The field
has hosted a number of state championship
games, and it was the site for the 1967 Babe
Ruth World Series. Also in 1967, Growden
Park was the site of Alaska’s largest-ever
sporting event, as over 5,000 fans watched
the Panners play Japan in the Midnight Sun
One of the stadium’s other claims to fame
in the baseball world was its use of original
seats from “Sick’s Seattle Stadium”, home of
the ill-fated Seattle Pilots. While in Seattle,
Growden dugout and bullpen benches were
used by many MLB Hall of Famers (including
Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby), and
were used by other legends, such as Jim
Bouton and “The King”, Elvis Presley, during
a concert in 1957. Over the years, Growden
Memorial Park has been used by many hundreds
of eventual major leaguers, including
MLB Hall of Fame members Tom Seaver,
Dave Winfield, Ferguson Jenkins, Bobby
Doerr, Gaylord Perry. Harmon Killebrew, and
I was walkin' down the street on a sunny day
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
A feeling in my bones that I'll have my way
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba!
Well I'm a happy boy (happy boy)
Well I'm a happy boy (happy boy)
Oh ain't it good when things are going your way,
My little dog spot got hit by a car
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
Put his guts in a box and put him in a drawer
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
I forgot all about it for a month and a half
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba
I looked in the drawer and started to laugh
Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba!
Well I’m a happy boy (happy boy) 2x
Oh ain’t it good when things are going your way? Hey Hey?!
Alaska Flag Song
Written by Marie Drake;
By the Beat Farmers
Country Dick Montana
Sports Illustrated: “On the summer solstice the natural light
never dies out in Fairbanks, 160 miles south of the Arctic Circle,
and on this night Camacho, a California-raised righty, would
never leave the confines of Growden Memorial Park, where the
centerfield backdrop is the eight-starred Alaskan flag and Take
Me Out to the Ballgame is forsaken during the seventh-inning
stretch in favor of the Beat Farmers’ 1985 country-punk song
“Happy Boy”. Out with the peanuts and Cracker Jack, in with lyrics
about a dead dog in a drawer, as well as the most guttural refrain
ever to blare from a stadium speaker: “Hubba hubba hubba
Eight stars of gold on a field of blue -
Alaska's flag. May it mean to you
The blue of the sea, the evening sky,
The mountain lakes, and the flow'rs nearby;
The gold of the early sourdough's dreams,
The precious gold of the hills and streams;
The brilliant stars in the northern sky,
The "Bear" - the "Dipper" - and, shining high,
The great North Star with its steady light,
Over land and sea a beacon bright.
Alaska's flag - to Alaskans dear,
The simple flag of a last frontier.