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GOLDPANNERS TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

 

"Collegiate baseball is becoming a viable source for major league talent."
H.A. 'Red' Boucher, 1960


Chris Schwinden (06) Goldpanner to MLB #200


Barry Bonds (83)
Season HR Record - 73
Future Hall of Famer

Jason Giambi (90) 1B - Oakland Athletics
Jason Giambi (90)
2000 A.L. MVP

 

00T_17_crosby-bobby.jpg (32498 bytes)
Bobby Crosby (99)
2004 AL Rookie of Year
 

In 1964, Dave Dowling became the first Goldpanner to reach major league baseball. His 1963 pitching performance was so strong that, for the first time, baseball scouts from across the nation began paying attention to what happened in Alaska.

When Rick Monday was picked first overall in the inaugural amateur draft in 1965, the Panner organization began cementing its reputation as a talent pipeline from the top of the world to the top of the game. Since then, no less than 197 Goldpanners have ascended to Major League Baseball, coming off 38 of the teams - averaging roughly 5 players per team to reach the pinnacle of the game.

The record of sending Goldpanners to the major leagues is not even remotely challenged by any other single summer amateur team and, until recently, even the entire 100-year-old Cape Cod League had not managed to reach the aggregate.

As impressive as is the major league figure, the real measure is seen in the thousands who have had an opportunity to play professional ball after their Fairbanks careers.

There were no Goldpanners to go up from the predominately local teams of 1960-61-62, and no players from the four most recent teams have yet ascended.  However, a number of prospects from recent teams (Conrad, Robinson) are on the verge of the big time.   The most recent Goldpanner to get "the call" is Brendan Ryan, a key member of the 2002 NBC World Series Championship squad.

In addition to those to who have moved through the Goldpanners en route to the majors, three pitchers have thrown for the Fairbanks after the end of their big league careers (Dick Selma, Eddie Bane, Danny Boone).

In 2002, Jason Lane (96-97) and Jim Rushford (94) were called up for major league service.  Jason was called up to the Houston Astros on the 9th of May in 2002.  Jason was, as he put it, "all smiles" when he arrived at Veterans Stadium after a 5 1/2 hour flight from Fresno an hour before game time on Thursday. According to Lane, Triple-A manager Chris Maloney pulled him from the Zephyrs game against Fresno in the sixth inning, much to Lane's surprise. "He said 'You're out of the game,'" Lane recalled. "I was kind of surprised. I said 'Why?' He said, 'You're going to the big leagues tomorrow.'"

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 make the major leagues. Among all the recognizable names on that list (see below), the one that stands out the most is that of Barry Bonds, who on May 28th of this year hit his 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list. (Barry is a future Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, and had certainly established himself on such a plane even prior to 1998.)

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 original “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.

Though Barry was not in his usual left field position, he still showed flourishes of brilliance as the first baseman, including a portentious over the head catch drifting towards the wall in right field. In six games during the NBC tournament, Bonds went 4-for-18 for a .222 average, with a double, two runs scored, two RBIs, three walks and 4 stolen bases.
 

1960 NONE
1961 NONE
1962 NONE

1963
(4)
Dave Dowling
Chuck Hartenstein
Mike Paul
Sam Suplizio *

1964 (8)
Rick Monday
Curt Motton
Graig Nettles
Mike Paul
Tom Seaver
Sam Suplizio *
Gary Sutherland
Jimy Williams

1965 (7)
Dan Frisella
Eddie Leon
Andy Messersmith
Graig Nettles
Mike Paul
Tom Seaver
Al Schmelz

1966 (9)
Mike Adamson
Bob Boone
Bob Gallagher
Greg Garrett
Tom House
Bill Lee
Jim Nettles
Mike Paul
Don Rose

1967 (7)
Jim Barr
Bob Boone
Bob Gallagher
Rich Hand
Bill Lee
Jim Nettles
Brent Strom

1968 (7)
Jim Barr
Bob Boone
Bob Gallagher
Tom House
Dave Kingman
(Dan Pastorini)
Brent Strom

 

1969 (9)
John Andrews
Jim Barr
Bob Boone
Pete Broberg
Steve Dunning
Dave Kingman
Mike Reinbach
Brent Strom
Rich Troedson

 

1970 (4)
Pete Broberg
Craig Caskey
Dave Roberts
Rich Troedson

1971 (5)
Craig Caskey
Rusty Gerhardt
Jim Sundberg
Rich Troedson
Dave Winfield

1972 (6)
Kerry Dineen
Bruce Robinson
Steve Swisher
Jackson Todd
Jim Umbarger
Dave Winfield

 

1973 (5)
Chuck Baker
Don Reynolds
Bruce Robinson
Jim Umbarger
Gary Wheelock
 

1974 (10)
Chuck Baker
Floyd Bannister
Danny Garcia
Dan Graham
Steve Kemp
Ken Phelps
Pete Redfern
Don Reynolds
Bruce Robinson
Dave Schuler
Sandy Whitol

1975 (10)
Dave Baker
Floyd Bannister
Steve Kemp
Dennis Littlejohn
Greg Harris
Gary Rajsich
Pete Redfern
Bruce Robinson
Dave Schuler
Dave Smith

1976 (11)
Dave Baker
John Butcher
Mike Couchee
Jeff Doyle
Greg Harris
Mike Kinnunen
Bobby Mitchell
Ron Roenicke
Scott Sanderson
Dave Smith
Eric Wilkins

1977 (11)
Dave Baker
Mike Boddicker
Chris Codiroli
Dave Edler
Dave Hostetler
Mike Kinnunen
Vance Law
Tim Leary
Tim Lollar
Scott Sanderson
Tim Tolman

1978 (10)
Jeff Cornell
Marty Decker
Terry Francona
Ben Hines *
Mike Kinnunen
Tim Leary
Dick Selma *
Russ Stephens
Ed VandeBerg
Tim Wallach

1979 (8)
Ed Amelung
Alvin Davis
Pat Dodson
Mike Fuentes
Ben Hines *
David Meier
Don Slaught
Ed VandeBerg

1980 (10)
Ed Amelung
Alvin Davis
Don Heinkel
Ben Hines *
Dave Meier
Kevin McReynolds
Harold Reynolds
Ron Romanick
Russ Stephens
Phil Stephenson

1981 (6)
Dave Cochrane
Don Heinkel
Ben Hines *
Dan Plesac
Kevin Romine
Phil Stephenson

1982 (7)
Don August
Eddie Bane *
Ben Hines *
Shane Mack
Oddibe McDowell

Roger Samuels
Bob Sebra

1983 (14)
Brad Arnsberg
Shawn Barton
Barry Bonds
Dennis Cook
Mark Davis
Bien Figueroa
Shane Mack
Joe Magrane

Alex Madrid
Oddibe McDowell
Billy Moore
Luis Medina
Dave Stapleton
Don Wakamatsu

1984 (12)
Brad Brink
Mike Campbell
Mark Davis
Bien Figueroa
John Fishel
Chad Krueter
Jose Mota
Luis Medina
Ty Van Burkleo
Jeff Wetherby
Steve Wilson
Craig Worthington
 

1985 (8)
Billy Bean
Mike Benjamin
Tim Layana
Keith Lockhart
Paul Myers
Rob Richie
Kevin Ritz
Jeff Tabaka

1986 (10)
Bret Barberie
Chris Donnels
Paul Faries
Bob Hamelin
Mike Harkey
Doug Linton
Al Osuna
Brent Mayne
Dan Rorhmeier
Ed Zosky


1987 (6)
Earl Frishman *
Tom Goodwin
Kevin Higgins
Darryl Scott
Roger Smithberg
Brian Turang

1988 (6)
Bret Boone
Greg Brummett
Mike Robertson
Marc Ronan

F.P. Santangelo
Eric Schullstrom

1989 (7)
Eric Helfand
Bobby Hughes
Mike Kelly

Pat Meares
Dan Naulty
Marc Ronan
Todd Steverson

1990 (4)
Jason Giambi
Steve Rodriguez
Shad Williams
Gary Wilson

1991 (2)
Darrell May
Gary Wilson

1992 (1)
Jeff DaVanon

1993 (4)
Dan Boone *
Jose Cruz, Jr.
Travis Lee
Robert Ramsay

1994 (6)
Dan Boone *
Jeff DaVanon
Jacque Jones
Travis Lee
Jerrod Riggan

Jim Rushford

1995 (4)
Dan Boone *
Adam Kennedy
Cole Liniak
Christian Parker

1996 (6)
Dan Boone *
Todd Belitz
Jason Lane
Adam Pettyjohn
Jason Phillips
Michael Young

1997 (3)
Dwight Bernard *

Jason Lane

Don Leppert *

1998 (2)
Mike Cervanek
Aaron Heilman

1999 (3)
David Bush
Brooks Conrad
Bobby Crosby

2000 (5)
Brooks Conrad
Greg Dobbs
Ryan Garko
Dave Gassner
Royce Ring

2002 (1)
Brendan Ryan

2003
Brad Davis

2004 (2)
Carlos Fisher
Brian Jeroloman

2005 (1)
Kris Medlen

2006 (1)
Chris Schwinden

2008 (2)
Ryan Robowski
Jake Dunning

*Was in Major Leagues Before Joining Panners, or Coached/Front Office in Major Leagues After