BY TODD DENNIS
Tuesday, June 1, 2001
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks celebrate the team's 42nd summer season in 2001 and as usual Fairbanks fans anticipate a winning team filled with future baseball standouts.
The Panners have posted 40 winning seasons and have seen no less than 176 of their players make it to the major leagues for at least a taste of action, and hundreds of others have progressed through the minor league system. The number of graduates to the majors-176-is far and away the best track record of a single amateur team ever - and a mark that is not likely to be overtaken in the foreseeable future.
2001 team team is presenting an entirely new coaching staff and several new players, as well as a few from the 2000 contingent which finished with a 28-20 record and placed second in the
Alaska Baseball League standings. The 2000 team represented Fairbanks and Alaska at the
NBC Championship Tournament.
Coach Chris Jones, out of Mount San Antonio Junior College, joins the Goldpanners organization for his first season at the helm of the team and Jamie McMahon will handle the pitchers.
Andy Davidson of Cal-State Northridge heads the list of returning players. The junior left-hander was one of the Panners' most valuable players in '00 and will be seeing his second summer in Fairbanks. Other possible returning players are pitchers
Chris Dunwell and Royce Ring, both out of San Diego State University.
Catching and infield positions will feature all new players with one of the most exciting being infielder Eric Keefner from Arizona State.
The 2001 season outfield is sure to create a lot of excitement. Leading in that department will be Freshman outfielder
Anthony Gwynn from San Diego State University. Anthony is the son of the San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn, a future hall of famer. This spring, Anthony has shown great baseball competence and a flair for playing the game.
The Goldpanners 29-game
Growden Memorial Park schedule features series with each of the Alaska League teams including new ABL team
AIA ALASKA. Outside foes are the Oceanside Waves of Oceanside, CA, and the Ukiah Eagles of Ukiah, CA.
Oceanside will provide the opposition for the annual
Midnight Sun Game which will be played at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. The annual All Kids Day Celebration will be held on July 19 with the Goldpanners facing the league rival
(All home games at Growden Park are at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.)
Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks