The Panners don't just win, they do it at a nearly 70% clip. In fact, all-time, the team has won
1,759 games to just 899 losses. The 1,759 wins in 47 seasons represent
over 37 victories per summer. The real winning surge began in the early 1970s when Jim Dietztook over as field manager. The
1972 club won 30 of its last 37 games to win the NBC national championship after Dietz' first club had earned 46 wins and finished second in the nation in
1971. Dietz' clubs then won 49-60-51-40 over the next four years and over that span won four national championships and finished runner-up on the three other occasions for one of the most amazing seven year runs ever in amateur ball at the level of summer collegiate leagues.
All-Time Leading Champions
49 Seasons of Championship Baseball
The Alaska Goldpanners have won the
NBC national championship tournament six times, a feat unequaled by any other club.
In addition to the NBC tournament, the Goldpanners have captured numerous other state, national and international championships. Alaska League success is underscored by two seven-year league championship stretches (1962-1968 & 1978-1984). The decade of the 90s saw the Goldpanners win five league championships.
Amazing Panner to Major Leagues
Mark Adds Another Two
Conrad (99-00) & Mike Cervanek (98)
No less than 188 former Goldpanners have ascended to the major leagues coming off 37 of the teams - averaging 5 Goldpanners per team to reach the pinnacle of the sport. The record of sending Goldpanners to the major leagues is not even remotely challenged by any other single summer amateur team.
The latest to reach the majors from the Goldpanners is
Oakland Athletics infielder Brooks Conrad. With
his elevation, the 2008 Oakland A's reprised a Panner
middle infield, as Brooks rejoins 1999 Goldpanner Bobby
in the Far North
Games Called at Midnight Where the Spell of the Yukon Reigns
Baseball has always been the great game in Alaska. When the Klondike was booming there were four semi-professional clubs in that city, and twice each week every one with any life or ambition was present. Stores were closed up, and thousands of dollars changed hands on each game.
In the North baseball games are called at 8 o'clock in the evening, and on June 21st games are called at midnight, it being as light then as it is in Seattle at 7 o'clock. In all the wide world there are more real, genuine fans to the population in Alaska than elsewhere.
10/10/8: 1975 NBC World Series The Boulder, Colo., Collegians snapped Fairbanks, Alaska's string of three straight NBC tournament championships with a 6-4 victory over Fairbanks in the title game.
How to make the 75th NBC tournament
special - "Alaska Night. Maybe you
pay off one of the local weathermen to
create a really cool day at the
ballpark. Dave Freeman has that kind of
power, right? If not, you at least set
aside a night to honor the Alaska
tradition that has been so important to
the World Series.
through 2002, Alaska teams accounted for
15 of 34 championships. The Fairbanks
Goldpanners, Anchorage Glacier Pilots,
Kenai Peninsula Oilers, Mat-Su Miners
and Anchorage Bucs have been great for
the tournament and provided some of the
best players in its history, such as Tom
Seaver (Panners), Dave Winfield
(Panners), Rick Monday
(Panners), Chris Chambliss (Pilots),
(Panners), Mark McGwire
(Pilots), Barry Bonds
(Panners) and many others."
Cats' shortstop Cameron Blair (04
MVP), who was hit by a pitch
last Friday in St. Paul, was
diagnosed with a broken wrist on
Monday and is out for the season.
Letter from 2008
Cape Cod Baseball League employee: "I notice that the teams on
the Cape don't care nearly as much about wins and losses as the
teams in AK. The Cape teams are much more worried about exposing
their stars to the scouts."
As a parent of a 2008 Panner, I want to take a moment to thank the
city of Fairbanks, the Panner organization and most importantly the
people of Fairbanks for again being the place to be and play ball in
Winning in baseball is important, and this years record may be
disappointing, but winning in life is what counts. Fairbanks, you
have won again, your residents, baseball fans, Panners organization,
coaching staff and most importantly your host families have again
done an amazing job.
There are thousands of players, families, that are grateful forever
for what you have shown our sons.
I can tell you that the players feel blessed to have spent the
summer of 2008 in your great city. Thank you to all and Fairbanks
will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Published Monday, July 28, 2008
Brendan Ryan -
(From July 12thBrendan Ryan
the G-Man: "I went to Lewis-Clark St. (Lewiston, ID) and I
won an NAIA National Championship there and that was great and Im
not taking anything away from that, but it just seemed like with the
level of competition up there that summer, it was pretty special.
Its probably up there at the top. Id sure like to win a World
Series up here (MLB) but that was definitely one of my best
"The Anchorage Glacier Pilots lead the ABL. The Kenai
Peninsula Oilers are in a race for second. Both teams want to play
in the NBC. The Glacier Pilots are already making preliminary travel
plans. It would take a miracle to keep us out of there, GM
Jon Dyson said."
The Glacier Pilots still rest atop the ABL
standings with a 16-8 record. The Peninsula Oilers (12-10) are the
only other team in the league with a better than .500 record. The
Mat-Su Miners (11-11) are in the third spot, followed by the Panners
(11-12), Anchorage Bucs (12-14) and Athletes in Action Fire (8-14).
All six teams will be in Anchorage this weekend
for the ABL Showcase at Mulcahy Stadium
WP: Matt Newman - Complete Game
New Roster Addition: Bryan Beres, Catcher, Bethany College
Patterson too much for Goldpanners to handle "Pattersons only
trouble came in the ninth. He began the inning with his first walk
of the game, and Raoul Torrez followed that with a two-run homer
over the left field fence."
Alaska Goldpanners overturn Bucs' big lead "Adam Gaylord went
from a struggling No. 9 batter to a game-changer for the Alaska
Goldpanners in a 6-4 victory over the Anchorage Bucs in Thursday
nights Alaska Baseball League game at Growden Memorial Park"
Alaska Goldpanners bounced on Bank Night I started to sit back
on the offspeed, since thats all he was throwing to us, Hamel, who
struck out in the third and grounded out to short in the eighth,
said. None of us were really seeing the ball that well. He was
just throwing to the outer half (of the plate), and we were looking
to drive the ball to the right side of the field.
Brooklyn Eagle - "Last week, in another slap at the
overprotective pitch counters now populating dugouts across all
of Major League Baseball, 62-year-old Bill Spaceman Lee threw
six innings while getting the win in a Midnight Sun League game
in Alaska. Taking the mound in an Alaska Goldpanners uniform
for the first time since 1967, Lee was the winning pitcher in a
10-6 victory over the Southern California Running Birds. He had
great tempo, said Panners manager, Tim Gloyd. Hes a real
major league-type player.
Lee, who once infamously proclaimed his preference
for grass over Astroturf by pointing out, I never smoked
Astroturf, wore number 337 (Lee upside down) and registered three
strikeouts while allowing four earned runs. Oh, yeah. He threw 83
pitches. I wonder if Tony LaRussa would have pulled him after 50."
Photo Journal: Midnight Sun Game "The stadium was adorably
cute and small-town. No big bleachers, no bag checks or metal
detectors to walk through. Heck, I saw people pulling in wagons
and mixing up margaritas during the game."
Ira and Mary Watts:
Summer solstice - "Summer Solstice in Alaska is a big deal
as the day is almost 22 hours long and during the other two
hours it is still daylight. It never really gets dark. After the
downtown festival Mary & I went to see the 103rd annual Midnight
Sun Baseball game played entirely without artificial lighting.
The game was a lot of fun and we enjoyed every minute of it.
2/11/8: Jon Pokorny (08R)
Kent State Left Handed Pitcher - Added to 2008 Roster
9/16/7: Jonathan Kountis (07) Baseball America Prospects Plus:
Alaska League Top 10 Prospect "Alaska was short on power arms this season, but
Kountis was one of the few"
8/7/7: Nick Ciolli (07)
Indiana State baseball
player Nick Ciolli spent the summer working on his game in Alaska
Right when you walk in, they have about a wall full of guys that
played pro off the team, Ciolli noted. You walk in there and they
expect 5.5 of us will go pro when you play for the Goldpanners,
which is pretty cool. I [fish] a lot, Ciolli said. A bunch of us
would go Arctic grayling fishing, pike fishing, all kinds. Our host
family would take us out on our off days, about once every two or
three weeks. Went to sightsee a couple times, saw moose and bear. It
was pretty cool.
6/24/7: Yahoo Sports :
Bats at midnight "If you played at a college in California, you
wanted to play in Alaska," said Tim Gloyd, the Goldpanners' shortstop in
1978 and its first-year coach this year. "And you wanted to play for
Fairbanks. Because they're the ones who win." "It means more now
than ever," Bill Stroecker said. A smile curled across his face. He
adjusted his tie. He sat up a little straighter. "We've always known it
was something. Now the world knows."
Touching the Game: AlaskaJim Carroll set to
Return to Fairbanks in 2007! Last summer, we shot about 70
hours of great Alaska Baseball League action, plus numerous historical
interviews with the people who have been part of the ABL for years. Guys
like Red Boucher, Don Dennis, and Lefty Van Brunt, the stories have been
tremendous, said Jim Carroll, the films co-producer. The crew
also plans to interview some of the many former ABL players who have
made it to the Major Leagues, and in some cases, the Hall of Fame. Guys
like Seaver, Winfield, McGwire, Johnson, they all have stories to tell
about their summers in Alaska, we plan to interview as many as we can.
6/5/7: Linda Douglass:
Replacing ping! with crack! for Alaskan summer "Basch,
a former Goldpanner who stayed in Alaska, said he enjoys the travel. I
think its great that the kids get to see different parts of Alaska and
stay in some unique places. In Fairbanks, the (visiting) team stays in a
trailer park inside the stadium and in Kenai the visiting teams stay in
the local bingo hall, he said. Also, I enjoy seeing players first
impressions of Alaska when they arrive for the first time, because it
reminds me of what a unique place it is that we live.
12/17/8: Ed Cheff
2009 Lefty Gomez Award Recipient "The
Lefty Gomez Award is one of the most prestigious awards in all of amateur
baseball. Named after the great Lefty Gomez, this award is presented by the
American Baseball Coaches Association each year to an individual who has
distinguished himself amongst his peers and has contributed significantly to
the game of baseball locally, nationally, and internationally. The Lefty
Gomez Award is presented each year at the ABCA Hall of Fame/Coach of the
Year Banquet at the ABCA Convention. "
2009 - Ed Cheff (02-03-04-05-06) Lewis Clark State
Former Bulldog gets shot at big leagues Until I see
myself on ESPN, its still going to be a dream, Brent said. Im
just inching a little closer to that dream. With this happening,
its becoming a little more of a reality for me.
6/6/8: Gary Henderson
Promoted to U. Kentucky head coach "I am very excited to
be named the Kentucky baseball coach," Henderson said. I
look forward to getting back to work at cementing UK's
position among the elite programs in the nation."
Fairbanks man is Division III baseball's biggest fan
Named to ACC All-Tournament Team Dykstra, who was selected
at the Utility position on the team, hit .333 (4-for-12) with
two home runs and five RBIs in the Tournament. He also had a
pair of doubles and slugged 1.000 over three games.
Joey Dunn (06)
Stanford Crushes Washington "Senior Joey Dunn, seen here in
the game against Washington State, finished his college career
in the game against Standford with a home run and two RBIs
Jeremy Gillan (08) Second Team All-A Sun Conference
Catcher - Added to Roster
5/24/8: Matt Fitts
Host Warriors Roll Big in World Series Opener With 19-0 Triumph
"Matt Fitts, who returned to LCSC for his junior season despite
being drafted in the 15th round by the Houston Astros, checked
Embry-Riddle on one hit through four innings. With the game in
hand, LCSC coach Ed Cheff pulled Fitts to save him for later in
Lewis-Clark Sets NAIA Record with 51 inning scoreless pitching
the second game, which saw LCSC earn its 40th win of the season for
the 31st time in coach Ed Cheff's 32 seasons at helm, the Warriors
used a six-run second inning to take an 7-0 lead. The
impressive streak was continued by LCSC pitchers Michael Guerrero
(07) and Blaine Hardy in the opener." 4/13/8: Tim Gloyd -
49rs Double Their Fun "Zack Vawter-Scroggins has made the Yuba College baseball team all
but unbeatable when he is on the mound. The freshman allowed one
earned run in 8 2/3 innings to lead the 49ers (13-20, 8-11) to a 9-2
Bay Valley Conference victory at Solano on Saturday. Adrian Perez
got the final out. It was their fourth win in five games. "He was
outstanding," Yuba coach Tim Gloyd said of his young starter, who
enduced five ground ball double plays."
Jonathan Kountis (07) AMC Pitcher of the Week - Kountis, a 6-3 sophomore
right-hander from Akron , Ohio , is the AMC Pitcher of the Week. He
hurled a complete game to knock off Walsh, 4-1.
In seven innings pitched, Kountis allowed an unearned run on four
hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks. ODU improved to 17-7 overall
and 6-0 AMC"
4/4/8: Steve Mrowka
Baseball Head Coach Steve Mrowka Earns 100th Win at GW "Earlier
this season, on Mar. 1, Mrowka also tallied his 500th career
victory, with a 9-8 win against Yale. The North Carolina ('87)
graduate is now 507-324-3 in his career, this being his 15th year
3/17/8: Geoff Byrns (06)
Pictures from 3/9/8 game vs. UCLA
3/15/8: Ed Cheff
When you play for Ed Cheff, 'winning is like breathing' "It's a
completely different atmosphere,'' Woods said of playing for Cheff.
Adam acknowledged that the mental part of the game is heavily
stressed "because if you're mentally weak, the skills don't matter."
"You've got to be thick-skinned," he added. " You can't be soft and
play for him.'' Cheff believes it's the mentally tough team that
prevails in the end."
3/12/8: Tim Gloyd
Gloyd fires off full staff assault "When a baseball team resorts
to throwing nine pitchers in a game, it usually means they're on the
losing end of a blowout. The move paid off as the nine Yuba hurlers
combined to allow one earned run and didn't walk a single batter in
a 7-3 victory."
3/12/8: Allan Dykstra
Wake Forest Comes Back to Beat Charlotte, 15-12
"Wake trailed 10-1 in the bottom of the fifth
when Allan Dykstra stroked a two-run homer, his fifth of the season,
as part of a three-run outburst."
3/12/8: Michael Guerrero
(07) Guerrero threw the first complete-game shutout on the road
since 2000 for Lewis-Clark State College and three pitchers combined
on an eight-hitter in the second game to help the Warriors sweep a
doubleheader against the College of Idaho by scores of 10-0 and 8-3
in Caldwell on Tuesday. The sweep stretched LCSC's win streak
to 11 games.
3/8/8: Eddie Bane (82), Floyd Bannister
Bane and Bannister Inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame"Eddie Bane and Floyd
Bannister, two of the greatest pitchers to ever wear a Sun Devil
uniform, have been named to the 2008 induction class for the College
Baseball Hall of Fame, the College Baseball Foundation announced
3/8/8: Allan Dykstra homered twice, and
four Wake Forest pitchers collected 15 strikeouts in a 13-11 victory
over Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener
Late inning blast lifts
LCSC over UW - Fitts (05) and Guerrero (07) combine for the win
; Tyler Cheney (06) takes the loss
Three Goldpanners combine to give LC three hit shutout "Brian
Bird allowed one hit with two strikeouts in the fourth, while Max
Hibbs allowed one hit in his two innings with a strikeout. Michael
Guerrero pitched the final three innings and allowed one hit, but
struck out six. In all, LCSC pitchers struck out 12 in the game."
2/26/8: Joey Dunn
Huskies start season with a split "For Knutson, a real star of
the series was senior centerfielder Joey Dunn, who battled an injury
late last year but played in three games over the weekend, doing his
job offensively and defensively. He went 4-for-10 at the plate with
a homerun and three RBIs during the series, while also throwing out
runners trying to steal."
2/17/8: Allan Dykstra
Dykstra named to Golden Spikes watchlist "Wake Forest junior
first baseman Allan Dykstra has been named to the preseason
watch list for the 2008 Golden Spikes Award, as announced Friday
by USA Baseball. The award is presented annually to the premier
amateur baseball player. "
Beau Mills (06) "It's
just my personal goal to get to Double-A or Triple A by the end of
1979, Broberg signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles
Dodgers, who gave him a choice of going to Triple-A or being
released. "I went home," Broberg said. "They still had
to pay me, and the Dodgers paid my way through law school."
Broberg went on to be a lawyer and now owns his own firm in
West Palm Beach."
EL CAJON (1-15-08) -- Long-time Grossmont College baseball coach ED OLSEN
(74-75-76-77) produced plenty of impressive numbers during his 22
seasons as the Gossmont Griffins skipper.
It all starts with his 516-376-7 record, which ranks among state's
top 10 for coaching victories.
The Olsen legacy doesn't stop there. He's guided 11 Griffins into
the major leagues and helped an additional 355 players receive some
form of scholarship. Olsen will be inducted in the CCCBA Hall
of Fame on May 23 in Fresno, site of the state baseball
1/8/8: Tyler Best
Added to Indiana Hoosier coaching staff "Tyler comes to us with
a strong background at an NAIA power in Lewis-Clark," Smith said.
"He has a track record of success and a winning attitude. As a
former collegiate and professional catcher, he will provide strong
coaching for our young catchers and will also be a key factor
working with our hitters.
As a player, Best was a 2004 NAIA
honorable mention All-American in his senior season.
He helped the team to national championships in both
2002 and 2003. He was also a member of the Alaska
Goldpanners team that won the National Baseball
Congress National Championship in 2002.
12/7/7: Allan Dykstra (05)
Named to 2007 Wallace Award Watch List - Rumblings of talk as a
1st Round draft pick
Named to NAIA preseason All-American Team
named ABCA's Region I Coach of the Year
9/6/7: George Horton (81-83)
UO Swinging a Big Bat "To land Horton, a two-time national coach
of the year whose Titans won the 2004 national championship, Oregon
guaranteed him an annual package of $400,000 -- a base salary of
$150,000 and another $250,000 in television and radio money and a
contract with Nike. With incentives, Horton could earn another
$285,000 a year, Kilkenny said. The incentives include $50,000 for a
College World Series appearance, $20,000 for a Pacific-10 Conference
title and other rewards for graduating players, producing
All-Americans or winning coach of the year honors. "
9/6/7: Ten minutes with
Steve Rodriguez (90) "When I was in the Big Leagues, I actually
had a very veteran group. We had Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens at
the Red Sox, and they really, really took care of the younger guys.
You never had to pay for anything, whether it was clothes or food.
Whatever it was, they took care of it. It was really great, and
thats what I try to relay to our guys here that you should never
feel a sense of entitlement because youre older or have been here
longer. Thats actually the point when you show your leadership by
making the younger kids jobs easier."
In the bottom of
the fifth, in about the fourth or the fifth game, Agbaba says,
Here, you do the play-by-play. I did probably the
worst play-by-play ever, Lowell said in a 1987 interview. It
was bad, really horrible. Some people say I still broadcast like
that he did as many as 2,500 sports broadcasts across the years.
His real love was baseball and so it was fitting that he chose
to get married to his wife Leah in 1993 as part of the pre-game
activities at the Midnight Sun Game. The groom went on the air
to do the play-by-play that night."
8/4/8: Nick Ciolli
Oilers drill Bombers in NBC opener Nick Ciolli, who joined the
Oilers from the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, was 3-for-5 with
two RBIs in his first game with the club. Ciolli was voted the top
outfield prospect in the Alaska Baseball League this season.
Longtime Fairbanks broadcaster Lowell Purcell dies "Longtime
Fairbanks radio broadcaster Lowell Purcell was inducted into the
Alaska Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Tuesday, two days before he
died. The award ceremony was originally slated to take place at a
Goldpanners game at Growden Memorial Park, but the game was washed
out by rain and by then Purcell had already been admitted to
Providence Hospital in Anchorage."
THE BEST SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVERAGE SINCE 1979:
The Alaska Pipeline "A
rugged, no-frills league in the Last Frontier State has funneled
almost 400 college players to the majors and kept fans in
Fairbanks up late each June with its quirky Midnight Sun Game "
The Ultimate Summer Road Trip (Begins in Fairbanks!)
"But the price of gas (very high) will be offset by the price of
food and tickets (cheap to all-you-can-eat/free, respectively).
Most importantly, it will all be worth it when you can say you
ventured from Alaska on June 21 -- site of the Alaska League's
legendary Midnight Sun Game -- and then crisscrossed the
country, making it to New Orleans in time for Labor Day."
Ed Cheff Named Region Coach of the Year ; Panner Honors "One of the
strengths of this season's Warrior team is their impressive pitching staff.
Warrior pitchers claimed four of the five spots on the All-Region team
reserved for men on the mound. Junior right-hander Matt Fitts is 10-0
on the season and led the region in strikeouts. Michael Guerrero, a junior
left-hander, led the region with 1.93 ERA thanks in large part to a personal
shutout streak of 31 innings that he enjoyed during the season."
5/11/8: Ryan Scoma
(08R) "Ryan Scoma had two hits and drove in three runs for UC Davis, but UC
Riverside scored five runs over the seventh and eighth innings, and held on
for a 7-6 victory over the Aggies in the opening game of a Big West
Conference baseball series at the Sports Complex Friday night. "
|5/11/8: Matt Newman (08R)
pitches #3 ASU past #10 Wichita State "Newman allowed
only one run on five hits during his 6.2 innings of work,
picking up his first collegiate victory in the process. Mike
Leake pitched the final 2.1 innings, coming on to pitch
after playing stellar defense at short and picked up his
first save of the season and second of his career."
5/5/8: Dave Winfield (71-72)
Is Winfield Following
Kingman? (1972) "So in only 12 official
at-bats this seahe 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." -
The Answer? Um, yes.
5/4/8: The Sporting News: Ex-Goldpanners
Seaver and Frisella Strike it Rich with New York Mets (1967) "Seaver
and Frisella recall happily their days in Alaska with the Goldpanners.
"Alaska is something else," said Seaver. "You can't realize what a
magnificient place it is unless you have been there. And it's a lot
different than most people picture it. I can remember waking up one night at
3 o'clock. I saw the sun coming through the windows and my first thought was
that I'd overslept and blown my job."
Sports Collectors Digest: Summer collegiate leagues a unique hobby
Kobak) "Collecting summer collegiate baseball team and
league card sets is very challenging. It is very much like pulling
teeth to obtain these sets, which is an attraction to a true
collector, unlike MLB-sponsored minor leagues and the independent
league sets, which are rewarding to collect but are readily
available for sale from teams and card dealers. On the whole, the
Alaska League has been great for card collectors. "
July 31, 1962
"Looking Forward - Red Boucher, manager of the state champion
Pan Alaska Gold Panners baseball team, expresses his
determination to take his team to Wichita, Ka., for the National
Baseball Congress tournament for semi-professional state
winners, which begins Aug. 17. Boucher has said that sending the
team will cost $7,500. A public subscription campaign has
been started here to raise the money, and nearly $2,000 has been
collected already. Boucher said the team should leave here
Aug. 13 if it plans to attend the tournament." (The team
DID go, and came within one run of winning the championship,
ending the season with a national second-place finish)
Josh Pahigian is
an American author who specializes in books and articles about
baseball. He is particularly renown in the field of sports
travel, writing books on this topic, as well as articles that
frequently appear on the
ESPN.com Sports Travel page under the Travel Ten heading.
"Seaver played in 1964 and 1965, along with
Andy Messersmith, and Rick Monday, among others. So, they had
the first draftee, the first player to successfully challenge
the reserve clause and bring about free agency, and the HOFer
with the highest voting percentage from the BBWAA. Not just
outstanding teams, but teams with very historically significant
players on it.
And MLB teams should have such well-organized and navigable
sites as the Alaska Goldpanners! "
2/8/8: Chris Zachgo
Delta Junction to state hockey championship "Zachgo
described Smith as a major role player -- in other words, much
like his teammates. "We don't have a bunch of snipers, we have a
bunch of hard workers," Zachgo said. "They grind it out. That's
how we win. That's exactly what happened tonight. Hard work got
12/18/8: Dave Smith (75-76)
Dave Smith remembered for his generosity |
Baseball loses one of its true good guys Former Astros reliever
Dave Smith was a giving person, and he made sure his younger
teammates learned to value others as they adjusted to life in the
majors. Smiths name is atop or near the top of
several of the Astros relief categories. But as his former
teammates coped with his death Wednesday, they didnt talk about his
199 saves for the Astros or his team records for appearances (562),
relief wins (53), relief innings (760) or most games finished (400).
Instead, Smiths friends and former teammate remembered the former
San Diego State pitchers generous nature and cool California
demeanor after he died of a heart attack Wednesday at age 53.
I remember the first thing he
told me, Kerfeld said. He said, Charlie, always treat everybody
right because the same people you see on the way up are going to be
the same people that youll see on the way down. He was correct
with that advice he gave me
Don Wakamatsu (83)
Ex-Goldpanner Wakamatsu to lead Seattle Mariners Wakamatsu was the
catcher for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks during the summer of
1983 when the Panners posted a record of 42-19 under Dave Snow. Wakamatsu had a .318
batting average that summer and caught pitchers such as Joe Magrane,
Alex Madrid and Brad Arnsberg. Some of the other players on that
team included Shane Mack and Oddibe McDowell.
10/9/8: Michael Young
Michael Young's Webchat Transcript - Chuck: I'm familiar with the Foresters
because my son played the Foresters for a little bit and got to play
in the Midnight Sun Game up in Alaska. Talk a little bit about the
Santa Barbara Foresters. Michael: Yeah, I played in Santa
Barbara Foresters, it's a summer league they have up there. I ended
up playing in Alaska during my summers when I was at Santa Barbara.
10/9/8: Greg Dobbs
Dobbs loves (to knock off) L.A.
9/29/8: Clay Van Hook
(05) New Assistant Coach
at McNeese State
9/28/8: Beau Mills (06)
2008 Carolina League MVP
Indians first baseman
Beau Mills is the 2008
Carolina League MVP.
Mills leads the Carolina
League with 21 homeruns
and 90 RBI. Clevelands
first round draft pick
in 2007, Mills is eighth
in the Carolina League
with a .293 batting
Los Angeles Times Blog: Andrew Malcom -
Sarah (Palin) and Donny (Baarns) chat at
a baseball game BF (Before Fame) -
"in between pitches and a sharp line
drive to left center, a very
professional Donny and a very casual
sports enthusiast named Sarah have a
five-minute conversation about Alaska
and political ethics and being governor
and sports. One thing the former high
school runner and basketball star
reveals, well, actually, two: She likes
sports a lot (the governor even asks if
she can hang around the radio booth a
while longer) and also she doesn't go
for all that "gender stuff."
Andrew Malcom: A
veteran foreign and national
correspondent, Malcolm served on the
Times Editorial Board and was a
Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the
author of 10 nonfiction books and
father of four.
Outfield could be in Ryan's future
"The future course of Brendan Ryan's
career remains somewhat undetermined. He
may yet establish himself as an everyday
big league shortstop or second baseman,
but it's also distinctly possible that
his career path will be as a utility
8/23/8: Beau Mills (06)
Kinston hands out end of year awards
"Kinston first baseman Beau Mills is the
recipient of the Kinston Indians Pat
Crawford MVP award. This may be the
first of many awards this season for
Mills who currently leads the Carolina
League with 21 home runs and 89 RBI.
Mills is also 2nd in the CL
in extra base hits (58), 3rd
in hits (139) and in the top five in
doubles (34), slugging (.507), and runs
8/16/8: Allan Dykstra (05)
Dykstra and Padres agree to deal with an
hour to spare "The reworked deal,
reached about an hour before Friday
night's deadline for all unsigned
draftees, saved the Padres about
$250,000. But the medical detour raised
skepticism about Dykstra's hip, which
was repaired before he began his varsity
baseball career at Rancho Bernardo."
8/14/8: Allan Dykstra (05)
Dykstra unsigned as deadline looms
"We think Dykstra will probably come
down to the last day," San Diego general
manager Kevin Towers said. "This one had
a couple of hurdles ... some curveballs
that we weren't expecting. So that's why
it's taken a little more time."
A 1988 gold medalist, Goodwin now coaching
in minor leagues - "It was awesome,"
Goodwin said about his Olympic experience.
"It was one of those experiences that if it
were to happen to me now or even five years
after it did, I probably would've taken it
in more. I was only 20-years old when I was
on the team so I didn't know nearly as much
as I know now. It was also my first time
being away from home. I learned so much how
other countries viewed us and how they
played the game of baseball. It's just one
of those things where experience is hard to
beat. I could've never have imagined what it
was like unless I went through it. I was one
of the rare athletes to have a chance and
compete for my country."
Picked up at MLB.FANHOUSE Seriously,
Farnsworth should watch his back, because as this video and
the History Channel tell us: things are tougher in Alaska.
Oh, and if you're wondering where you heard the name Alaska
GoldPanners before, this wasn't the craziest thing that's ever
one of their games.
From Gail Conrad, Mother of Brooks (99-00)
"Brooksie was so
ready for this moment and had waited so very long...it was truly a
dream come true. It is wonderful to share the moment with all of his
supporters! Thanks for all the years of you and the Goldpanners
family rooting for him!
Those Alaska summers
are still some of the very best baseball memories that Brooks has
thanks to all of you! (And especially to) Brooks' host family
there; the Wentz's"
7/28/8: Emerson Frostad
Rangers' Frostad ready for Olympics
"This has been a two-year process that
I've been a part of," said Frostad, a native of Calgary, Alberta.
"It's real competitive. It's a different kind of baseball. Everybody
comes together real quick and you're playing for your country, so
there's a lot of pride involved. And it's all about winning, so
everybody's pulling for each other and trying to win at all costs."
Kinstons 1B BEAU MILLS
has hit safely in his last 15-games batting .367 (22-60) with
11RS, 4-2B, 3HR and 14RBI In 96 games for Kinston he is batting
.283 (105-371) . Mills is T-3rd in the Carolina League with 27
7/22/8: Brooks Conrad
Conrad Makes MLB Debut - Panner # 190 to MLB // But as excited
as Conrad was to share the news, he couldn't resist having a little
fun with his father first. "He always wants to talk about
[that night's] game, so we were doing that for a while," Conrad, 28,
said before the opener of a three-game series against the host Rays
at Tropicana Field. "Then I said, 'Oh yeah, they made a move. ...
I'm going up to the big leagues.' He said, 'Wait. What?? You knew
that the whole time?' (Youtube:
Conrad hits 3-run HR)
New Britain's Ben Julianel
(00), whose 20 saves are fourth in the Eastern League, got the
save in the AAA All-Star Game.
MLB Network to pursue broadcasting the Midnight Sun Game - "Much
like NFL Films supplies content to NFL Network, MLB Network will
rely on MLB Productions and its extensive library. The network also
plans to pursue rights to non-MLB live programming such as the World
Baseball Classic, Arizona Fall League, Caribbean World Series and
the Cape Cod League. Theres also midnight games in Alaska, said
(CEO Tony) Petitti, referring to the Alaska Baseball League. All
that stuff is going to be talked about. Well take pieces of all
that hopefully and sprinkle it throughout the schedule.
Man Size doesnt matter, River Cats manager Todd Steverson
(89) will tell you and that power hitting is all about weight
shift, torque and wrists. Conrad has a short compact swing that
generates plenty of power. However, Steverson says Conrads ability
to launch balls gets him into trouble.
Panners split doubleheader with Mat-Su
former Lewis-Clark State
College player Emerson Frostad
has been named to the Canadian baseball team
On the longest
All-Star Game in history: "I may have been the only one
disappointed to see them suspend play. We should have at least
played until sunrise. - Jim Umbarger (73)
C Emerson Frostad belted a two-run shot and drew a walk in his Triple-A debut.
Finally receives his call to the major leagues - "Columnist
Nick Fierro chronicles Cervenak's story, from the independent
Frontier League to a spot in the Citizens Bank Park home dugout for
Thursday's matinee meeting with the St. Louis Cardinals. Cervenak
told Fierro his head was spinning so much after IronPigs manager
Dave Huppert gave him the good news, the rest of his manager's words
were a blur: "Everything that he said about the trip to Philly
was just kind of like the teacher from Charlie Brown," he said. "It
was just like, 'wah, wah, wah.' You know what I mean?"
Redbird pitchers going with the flow "Pitchers have been
hearing instructions like these for years from their pitching
coaches. And to that, Brent Strom says, ''Hogwash.'' There's a
lot of conventional wisdom out there that quite frankly is
wrong, and it just keeps getting perpetuated," Strom said."
Greg Dobbs' single in
the seventh was his 18th pinch hit of the year, the most by a
Phillie since Dave Philley had 18 in 1958.
Promoted to Philadelphia! MLB Debut looms
Giambi one of AL Final Vote contenders "If Jason Giambi is to be
named to the American League All-Star team, he'll need a little help
-- even more than his iconic mustache can provide. The
slugger has been named as one of the candidates in the Monster 2008
All-Star Game Final Vote, in the midst of a big-swinging season that
has seen him return to prominence as a powerful force in the heart
of the Yankees' lineup."
5/23/8: Marc Kaiser (02)
Making his way back with Silver Sox "Leonard said if Kaiser gets his
mental game squared away he expects the scouts to come calling, but the
26-year-old pitcher said he tries to keep those thoughts off his mind.
"That's out of my control," Kaiser said. "That type of thinking and worrying
got me to where I am now. I just need to let the game take care of itself.
If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. That's the biggest lesson I've
learned over the last four years is just be yourself and let people judge
you the way they want to judge you."
5/23/8: Alan Regier
New duties for Alan Regier "Regier, the former director of player
development, will shift to scouting at all levels. Those tasks once
were filled by Wilder, who was fired along with two scouts in an ongoing
federal investigation to determine whether they skimmed money from signing
bonuses to Latin American players, according to a Major League Baseball
5/6/8: Marc Kaiser
Signs with Reno Silver Sox ""It's great to have Marc as a member of the
Silver Sox, although I would be surprised if he lasted very long before a
major league team comes calling"
5/6/8: Adam Kennedy
Kennedy still distancing himself from 2007 "Kennedy is still waiting for
the day when La Russa makes him an everyday lineup fixture. Kennedy batted
.329 heading into an eight-game trip for the surprise NL Central leaders
after getting two hits, two walks and two RBIs in Sunday's 5-3 win over the
Cubs, yet he started only four games in a 6-3 homestand. The
left-handed hitting Kennedy is 5-for-11 against left-handers, but Aaron
Miles and Brendan Ryan have gotten the starts."
5/3/8: Beau Mills (06)
Mills looms large
"On Monday, those walls were transformed from ball-swatting demons to
harmless spectators by Cleveland Indians prospect Beau Mills. Mills hit a
grand slam and a two-run homer to lift the Kinston Indians to a 10-5
Carolina League victory over Salem."
4/19/8: Ryan Garko (00)
Garko exceeding expectations With a .314 batting average, 9
RBI's, .435 OBP, and 1 home run, it's hard to argue that Garko has
been a reason why the team is struggling.
4/15/8: Ty Van
Van Burkleo hitting stride with A's ""He's
probably my favorite hitting coach I've ever had," said Bobby Crosby (99),
who went 9-for-29 (.310) with a home run and six RBIs in the first
seven games of the trip. "He's just got a lot of energy, he's always
really positive. ... He's great to work with." Van Burkleo, who
played professionally for 14 years -- including five in Japan, where
he was named the league's player of the year in 1988 -- but logged
only 38 at-bats in the Majors, joined the A's after serving as the
Angels' roving hitting instructor for the previous six years. Before
that, he spent four years in the Diamondbacks organization."
Crosby powers A's over Indians
Bobby Crosby snapped Oakland's five-game homerless streak with a
three-run blast in the seventh inning, just the second ball the A's
have hit out in nine games. 4/7/8: Jason Aspito (99)
Not quite on Revolution's
level - "The chances of a guy making the club out of a tryout
are not great, but there are always guys who go to open tryouts and
show they do deserve a chance." One of those guys this time year ago
was Aspito. Out of pro ball at the start of 2007, by midseason
Aspito was an integral part of the Revs' lineup, before getting hurt
toward the end of the year. And it all started at a tryout camp.
"I was a six-year free agent, and nobody picked me up," Aspito said,
"and I didn't know if anyone knew I was available, (so) my dad said
'why don't you go to the Northern League tryouts.' So I fly down to
4/5/8: David Gassner
(00) ; Jason Phillips
Riverhawks sign ex-major leaguers "The Camden Riversharks
completed three deals this week that bring eight seasons of combined
Major League experience to the club. First baseman-catcher Jason
Phillips, lefthanded starter Dave Gassner and outfielder Chris
Walker agreed to terms and will join the Riversharks in 2008."
Defensive moves don't help Braves - Resop moved to left field
while left-hander Royce Ring (00) struck out Adam LaRoche,
but Resop returned to the mound to give up Nady's go-ahead single.
4/4/8: Mid-Season Statistics
4/3/8: Jason Giambi (90)
Giambi wants to prove defensive might "I love to be on the
field," Giambi said on Wednesday. "That's why I've never been a fan
of the DH. You're a part of the game and a part of the team."
The 37-year-old Giambi, playing the final year of his contract, has
convinced manager Joe Girardi that he will hold up to the rigors of
everyday duty in the field. "
3/23/8: Jose Cruz Jr.
last, Junior to hear "Cruuuuz" "The Cruz
household was abuzz with excitement when "Cheito" signed a minor
league deal with the Astros last Nov. 28, and the family likely will
get another dose of good news within a week if Cruz Jr. makes the
opening-day roster as expected."
3/23/8: Bret Boone
Accepts demotion to minor leagues
Ryan Garko (00)
Garko isn't take spot on Tribe roster for granted Just because
we were there last year doesnt count for anything this year, Garko
said. You might never get back. We need to remember that.
3/15/8: Brendan Ryan
Ryan bids farewell to Dodgertown with flourish "The
Cardinals hyper-kinetic infielder was at second base when pitcher
Greg Jones uncorkeed a pitch that ricocheted off
his catcher and up the first baseline. (Right toward the Cardinals
uncovered, no-roof dugout a signature feature here at Dodgertown
beloved by the ballplayers for the baking sun and the fact fans can
reach out and tap them on the back for an autograph.) Ryan didnt
hesitate, wheeling around third and beating a throw home. Thats
one of the nice things Brendan brings to the club, manager
Tony La Russa said. Brings good legs and hes aggressive
when he runs.
3/13/8: Greg Dobbs (00)
Dobbs finds a niche with versatility, bat "Dobbs made a name for
himself with the Phillies last season, taking a prominent role off
the bench and in the clubhouse. The 29-year-old hit .272 with 55
RBIs and 10 home runs. His sixth-inning grand slam at Shea Stadium
on Sept. 16 off Jorge Sosa put a stamp on a sweep of the New York
3/7/8: Beau Mills (06)
Mills sees action in Indians Spring Training Games Big fly:
Infielder Beau Mills, the Indians' No. 1 pick in
2007, is hitting .429 (3-for-7) in six games this spring. He hit his
first homer, a two-run shot over the right-field fence, in the sixth
inning on Thursday. "He's making an impression," Wedge said. "He's
advanced. He's strong. He knows the game, you can tell that by
having a conversation with him." Mills is playing first and third
base. The Indians want him to continue to work on his defense.
3/6/8: Brendan Ryan
(02) Cardinals Diaspora "Brendan Ryan obviously has ADHD. In
the workouts for the evening game, Ryan did not stop running
his mouth one second, and he was always at least one stretch
behind the rest of the players. I had an interesting
conversation with one of Brendan Ryans old HS coaches, Dave
Kramer. The gentleman was extremely friendly and had lots of
good things to say about Ryan. He called Brendan a very
intense kid who was very dedicated to playing baseball.
When I asked him about Brendans supposed lack of focus (see
ADHD comment above), he made it clear that Brendan is a
smart kid, but it is all in how you approach him to get him
to understand what you want. Kramer commented that Ryan
had a really strict and intense college coach ('hefe),
but said that Ryan needed that type of structure. He thinks
that TLR is at no loss for intensity and thinks that is good
for Ryan. Brendan played 2nd base in HS, and Kramer said
that he never had a 2nd baseman play for him like Brendan
did. He did say that Brendan hasnt really changed much from
HS, besides the shaved head and getting a little skinnier.
He said, Yep, he still wears his socks up around his nose.
I guess hes not a fan of the socks. "
3/6/8: Quinn Stewart
Rays Review: Quinn Stewart "Rays
farm director Mitch Lukevics describes him as a big strong kid with
whack in his bat and athleticism. In his first full season, he had
a 20-20 year, hitting .258 with 21 homers and 21 steals in 112 games
at Class A Columbus last year, posting a .466 slugging percentage
but striking out 122 times. But he also hit .471 in the playoffs to
help lead the Catfish to the Sally League title." 3/3/8: Terry Francona
Interview with Terry Francona
3/3/8: Ninth-inning rally: The A's beat
visiting Colorado 3-2 in the ninth, thanks to a triple by Brooks Conrad(99-00)
Brooks is tied for the team lead in total bases 3/2/8:
Brooks Conrad (99-00)hit a home run, a double, single
and drove in three runs against the Giants
3/2/8: Beau Mills (06)
Big Beau "He's got some work to do," said Wedge. "His bat is
ahead of his glove, but we knew that. He's a smart kid, but then he
grew up in the game. You've got to love the way the ball comes off
3/1/8: Bobby Crosby (99)
Crosby's aim: Stay healthy "Throughout my whole life, I've never
really been injured," he said. "I wasn't injured in high school or
college or the minor leagues or my rookie year. These are just
things that happen in baseball that, to be honest, are unlucky."
HS teammates Ryan Garko (00), Ben
Francisco look to future with Cleveland
2/25/8: Terry Francona
Francona becomes second-highest paid manager in baseball "The
extension will reportedly pay Francona an average of $3.75 million
over its first three years. Francona will make $1.75 million this
2/24/8: Joe Szekely (81)
Introduced as Princeton
Rays Head Coach (Tampa Bay)
2/24/8: Alan Regier
Minor League Cupboards Not Bare - "There are a handful of teams
out in front of everyone else, and the rest are trying to get to
that point," said White Sox farm director Alan Regier of his
supposedly depleted Minor League ranks. "When it comes down to it,
what's the difference between the team ranked 12 and the team
sitting at 29? "Are we exceptional right now? No. But we want to be
in the exceptional category, and there's no doubt we will be."
2/19/8: Brad Arnsberg
Ryan eyeing opening day "Brad Arnsberg turned his arm and
smiled, revealing a six-inch reminder of an operation he had
nearly two decades ago. A jagged scar arcs along the right
forearm of Toronto's pitching coach and ends near his elbow.
The mark is a remnant of Tommy John surgery -- an elbow ligament
replacement procedure that's become commonplace among pitchers.
It was still a relatively new surgery when Arnsberg went under
the knife in 1989, but a lot has changed in the years since.
That's one reason why Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan, who is
currently attempting a swift return from the same operation on
his left elbow, doesn't bear nearly as prominent of a scar as
his coach. "They're a lot prettier than they
used to be," Arnsberg said with a laugh.
2/18/8: Bret (88), Bob Boone
joins Bob in Washington "He went to spring training in 2006 with
the New York Mets but called it quits before playing in an
exhibition game. Looking back Monday, he said: "I was in no position
mentally to continue on at that point. I needed to walk away." Bob
and Bret talked about it two years ago. "He said, 'Dad, you won't
understand.' I said, '[You're] right, I won't understand. I mean,
who cares how you feel? This is baseball,'" the elder Boone
2/14/8: Harold Reynolds
Interview with Harold Reynolds (80) "I played with the
Alaska Goldpanners, which has a lot of history with good
ballplayers, so that looked good to a lot of scouts. Players
like Tom Seaver and Bob Boone played up there before me. It was
nice playing up there, a honor because so many great ballplayers
2/14/8: Bill Lee
(66-67) "Bill Lee said in answer to Jim Prime's question about
what had made him an eccentric replied, I used to play for the
Alaska Goldpanners, and when you play on permafrost, and it
warms and your centerfielder disappears, that leads to
winning side always seems to advocate moving
on, is always eager to leave the past
behind. I say not so fast. Baseball cant
move on until it apologizes. Baseball,
specifically Bud Selig, owes Bonds an
Barry, for hanging you out to dry; for
allowing the news media and the public to
make you the vilified face of baseballs
steroid era. Sorry for making it clear
during your home run chase that I would
rather be in a dentists chair having root
canal surgery than watching you break the
home run record.
looking on as you absorbed nasty fan
behavior and crude treatment from the news
media. Sorry for not being more forceful in
telling fans to reserve judgment, that the
steroid canyon was wide and deep. I spoke on
Friday with Selig in Milwaukee. He was in no
mood for apologies and refused to discuss
individual players. I just think its
inappropriate for me to comment on anybody,
Now Playing for
Elephants in Taiwan Professional Baseball League 11/28/7: Jose Cruz. Jr. (93)
Signed to MiLB contract with Houston ; Spring Training Invite
Harkey (86) Named Yankees Bullpen Coach
11/21/7: Terry Francona
Sox's success can be traced to Francona
"Could it be that Terry Francona is the best manager in Red
Sox history? Seeing that he's the only living man to guide
the fabled franchise to one World Series championship -- let
alone two -- it is a debate worth having."
9/21/7: Scott Robinson
MVP) SCL Most Valuable
Player "Winning the South Coast
Leagues Most Outstanding Hitter award wasnt enough for
as today the SCL is pleased to announce that the Macon Music first
baseman has also been named the 2007 SCL Most Valuable Player. "
H.A. 'Red' Boucher founded the Goldpanners in 1960 under the sponsorship of his local sporting goods store. The team, then known as the Pan Alaska Goldpanners, joined the North of the Range League and used primarily local players but did have five young recruits from the University of Arizona.
Boucher, with a great assist from his wife Heida, virtually ran the club single-handedly from its inception through the first three seasons. But a big change came at the end of the '62 campaign when the Panners went to the National Baseball Congress Tournament and astounded all by staying in the competition. The need for funds to maintain the stay, an eventual second place finish, led to the community involvement which was to spawn today's organization.
After founding the team, Boucher managed the club through
1969, but after the 1967 season he turned over all duties associated with the team to current general manager Don Dennis. Dennis, summoned by Boucher from a newspaper post in Pueblo, CO, has been the organization's administrative leader since November of that year.
FAIRBANKS HISTORY & ALASKAN-LEGACIES.COM
The Chena River Area was first inhabited by Anglo-Americans at the beginning of the 20th Century. The history of baseball in Fairbanks dates back to these early days of the town's founding.
In its very first year of existence as a temporary trading post, Fairbanks became a gold rush camp when the mineral was discovered by Felix Pedro. After the gold rush settled down, the Defense Department invested millions into the area during WWII. After the war, the discovery of oil in the North Slope brought a housing and building boom for Fairbanks.
The original trading camp has become a city teeming with activity. Throughout the century, a main source of entertainment for the inhabitants was baseball. Military and civilian teams were formed, and the
Midnight Sun Game tradition was celebrated during the entire century and beyond.
The Alaska Goldpanners evolved out of the intense competition being fielded in the Midnight Sun Baseball League. Immediately, the new club gained dominance in the local scene, and then very shortly thereafter the nation, becoming the national non-professional team in the early 1960s. Six NBC championships later, the Goldpanners have cemented the Fairbanks team as the most successful non-professional club in baseball history.
No other amateur team comes close to the nearly 200 players sent to the major leagues. Among these are three Hall of Famers, Barry Bonds, Dave Winfield, and Tom Seaver -- who holds the record for highest vote percentage in MLB Hall of Fame balloting history.