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Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks

Growden Memorial Park
(Dedicated in 1963 ; Lights Installed in 1964)

Growden: Very Fairbanks | ABL Ballparks Tour | Map of Second and Wilbur | Fairbanks Map

 

"this diamond is not only the geographic pinnacle of baseball, it's the spiritual pinnacle as well."

Jim Caple, ESPN

 

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"each summer Mother Nature takes pity on Fairbanks and provides long days of what Ed Cheff calls "the most ideal baseball weather in the world. In the East and the Midwest, they're baking in the heat and the humidity. But here it's perfect."

"I've been to Fenway Park. I've been to Yankee Stadium. I was at old Tiger Stadium. But there's nothing like this," he said. "I'm a purist. I love baseball for what it is. And nothing can compete with this. I know you're with ESPN and you've seen it all. Hey, I watch ESPN and nothing on ESPN can top this." Zak Basch


Wilbur Street and Second Ave.  Across from the Carlson Center.


"Welcome to Fairbanks, land of the midnight sun, where unusual summer happenings are the norm. And welcome to Growden Memorial Park, home of the Alaska Goldpanners, a park unlike any other in the Alaska Baseball League." Josh Niva


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.

Located at the foot of the historic and famous Second Street in Fairbanks, Growden Park has been the home of the Goldpanners since they moved there from their first home, Griffin Field, in time for the 1963 season.

Originally called Memorial Park, the park was renamed in 1964 in memory of James Growden who, along with his two sons, lost his life in a tidal wave created by the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964.  Growden had been active in youth activities in Fairbanks for a number of years.

Growden Park became the first outdoor lighted facility in Alaska in 1964.  Since then numerous other improvements have been made, so that now the park has come to be regarded as one of the top playing facilities in non-professional baseball.

The seating capacity at Growden is approximately 3,500, although a crowd in excess of 5,200 was on hand for the 1967 Midnight Sun Game, when the Goldpanners played Kumagai-Gumi of Japan.

Spacious, the playing field lists dimensions of 315 feet to left field, 398 to the power alley in left center, 410 to dead center, 398 to right center, before tapering off again to 330 feet along the right field foul line.

"Growden Memorial is an old-fashioned ballpark with no bad seats and ticket takers and vendors that remember your name."
(Land of the Radioactive Midnight Sun - Sean Michael Flynn)


TRAILS
By Michelle Eastty

One of the best ways to absorb the breathtaking beauty of the Tanana Valley is to go out on foot. There are numerous trails in the area and every part of town is a scenic viewpoint—from Growden Park, the home of the Goldpanners, to Golden Heart Plaza in downtown Fairbanks. For a view of the mountain ranges and possibly some wildlife, you’ll want to trek some of the town’s popular trails. Be sure to take along plenty of insect repellent, water and of course, a camera. Watch closely for birds, berries and plenty of Alaska’s renowned wildflowers.

Creamer’s Field offers a special opportunity for visitors to view sandhill cranes, Canada geese and other migratory birds that flock to Fairbanks for the summer. Observation decks allow the perfect opportunity for photographing the fowl. The nature path is approximately two miles long, beginning at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at 1300 College Road.

Beautiful Birch Hill is a popular ski trail system in the winter, but is just as alluring in the summer. Located off the Steese Highway, trails range from 1.5 to 3.75 miles long. Maps are displayed at the entrance and along the trails. Bring along a picnic lunch; picnic tables, restrooms and water are provided.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks boasts numerous trails starting at the campus’ West Ridge, behind the ski hut. Trail lengths range from 3-12 miles, and camping and picnic areas are available. From here you’ll get a spectacular view of the Alaska Range, including—on a clear day—Mt. McKinley at the far east end of the range. The trails lead to a small lake, where you may see any number of animals and birds.

More strenuous—but scenically rewarding—hiking trails are available outside Fairbanks. Angel Rocks Trail begins at 48.9 Mile on Chena Hot Springs Road, east of Fairbanks. This is a 3.5-mile loop with some steep climbs. For visitors looking for a longer hike, Chena Hot Springs Road, the Steese Highway and the Elliot Highway all host trailheads. For maps and details, stop by the log cabin Visitor’s Center on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks.


Based on the lyrics of:

“Go Cubs Go” Lyrics

By Chicago folk legend Steve Goodman.

—–

Baseball season’s underway

Well you better get ready for a brand new day

Hey, Fairbanks, what do you say

The Panners are gonna win today.

They’re singing …

Go, Panners, go

Go, Panners, go

Hey, Fairbanks, what do you say

The Panners are gonna win today

Go, Panners, go

Go, Panners, go

Hey, Fairbanks, what do you say

The Panners are gonna win today.

They got the power, they got the speed

To be the best in the Alaskan League

Well this is the year and the Panners are real

So come on down to Growden Field.

We’re singing now …

Go, Panners, go

2009 Pictures


 
  First Lighted Outdoor Facility in Alaska
Installed in 1964
 
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Hoisting light poles
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Preparing the lights
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Preparing the lights
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Preparing the lights
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1964 Spring
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Snowshoe Baseball
Jim Growden Memorial Monument  
 
Tallest Pressbox in Alaska
Installed in 1967
 
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1967 Season

 

Seats Scooned from Sick's Stadium in Seattle

Growden Memorial Park includes box seats and grandstand benching from Sick's Stadium, Seattle, home of the old Seattle Rainiers minor league team and the 1969 Seattle Pilots major league team.

 

 

Olympic Training Center
"Ed Merdes Center" Installed in 1988
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"The Olympic Village" Installed in 1986
    
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The Olympic Village
    

Growden Park / Skatepark

 
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Fairbanks Fans - #1 in Non-Pro Baseball


 

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National Anthem - 2000


Dietz preparing Infield
 

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Tom Seaver's Pitching Motion (From the 1965 Midnight Sun Game)

 

 

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