BARNSTORMING PANNERS......  6,000 miles on a bus, 26 days and 24 games in 18 ball parks,  the Fairbanks Goldpanners’ 2009 barnstorming tour is pne for the ages!  The tour began on July 6 in Longview, Wash., and included games in British Columbia,  and 10 states. Fairbanks won three games in one day to win the Kamloops Invitational Tournament for a record sixth time. 


July 5-6-7-8-9
Travel From Oregon to Canada, Through Washington


  • July 7 vs. Longview Red Lion


Kamloops International Tournament site














National Baseball Congress Opener



6,000 miles on a bus, 26 days and 24 games, the Goldpanners’ barn-storming tour is coming to an end!  The tour began on July 6 in Longview, Wash., and included games in Washington, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. Fairbanks won three games in one day to win a tournament in British Columbia early in the tour. The bus surprisingly broke down just once (a flat tire).   It happened in Wray, Colo., as the team was on its way to Dodge City after a game in Belgrade, Mont. The malfunction came on a travel day and was quickly repaired, so the Goldpanners didn’t miss any games.
(from The Wichita Eagle)


 "Touching the Game, Alaska"
Order Now

The 2-Disc Touching the Game, Alaska DVD is scheduled to be released on 11/30/09, but we are now accepting pre-orders.  At a price of $19.95, the DVD will feature the full-length director’s cut of the film as well as plenty of extra features and unseen footage, and if you pre-order now you will receive free shipping upon the DVD release!.

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."   Jackie Robinson



Midnight Sun Goldpanners
"Alaska 50" Barnstorming Tour

Stats Schedule/Results Roster Pictures

10/17/11: Cam Christian: 2009 Goldpanner Cam Christian [HQ] - Short video dedicated to 2009 Goldpanners pitcher Cam Christian (d. 10/15/11) showing what a great teammate he was. Video footage by Anthony Keel

Fairbanks’ hometown Alaska Baseball League team — the Goldpanners — went on tour in 2009 as part of the state’s (and the team’s) 50th anniversary celebration. In addition to the team’s regular 2009 season, the Goldpanners fielded a second team to participate in the “Alaska 50 Tour” commemorating the Goldpanner’s historical “barnstorming” manner of traveling solely by bus from game to game. The “Alaska 50 Tour,” culminated at the 75th National Baseball Congress Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. The tour included games in British Columbia and the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

Don Dennis and Jim Dietz

14 Year Field Manager
Jim Dietz

Midnight Sun Goldpanners
Roster Schedule/Results Stats Pictures
104th Midnight Sun Baseball Classic

2009 Goldpanners Yearbook
(large pdf file)

GamesWL % MGR
24 12 12 .500 Dietz

Midnight Sun Goldpanners: Jim Dietz Randy Barber Steve Dietz Dan Geisler // Travis Andersen Josh Ashenbrenner Brian Buckham Ryan Buckles Anthony Burke Cameron Christian Timothy Culligan David Duetchman Stephen Foster Bud Hollowell Thomas Hoenshel Taylor Hunter Josh Kalalau Eric Lane Patrick McClain Tristan Metcalf Trent Olezszcuk Phil Parrish Joe Pratt Carey Schwartz Derek Speigner Mykal Stokes Elliott Van Gaver Jason Van Skike Brett Williams Austin Wooldridge | Administrative - Ann Dennis Don Dennis Anthony Keel Brian Kerley Aaron Torres



AK: 2pm vs. Oilers / Kamloops: Game One, Game Two, Game Three


July 5 Travel Day    
July 6 Workouts in Longview, WA    
July 7 Longview, WA, Red Lion W 12-1
July 8 Little League Clinic in Kamloops, BC, Canada    
July 9 Seattle, WA, Studs L 2-1 (14)
July 10 Kamloops, BC, Red Devils W 8-1
July 11 Red Deer Riggers W 17-3 (5)
July 12 Kamloops, BC, Jays W 13-3 (5)
July 12 Seattle, WA, Studs W 2-1
July 12 Championship vs. Everett Merchants W 5-3
July 13 Kelowna, B.C., Canada Falcons W 4-3
July 14 Kelowna, B.C., Canada Falcons W 4-3
July 15 Kelowna, B.C., Canada Falcons L 1-0
July 16 Coeur D' Alene, ID L 5-4
July 17 Belgrade, MT, Bandits W 10-2
  Workouts in Sturgis, S.D.    
  Travel Day  
July 20 Dodge City, KS, A's L 6-5
July 21 Clarinda, IA, A's W 2-1
July 22 Clarinda, IA, A's W 10-7
July 23 Chilicothe, MO W 9-5
July 24 Chilicothe, MO L 6-5
July 25 Junction City, KS, Generals L 6-1
July 26 Junction City, KS, Generals L 1-0
July 27 Hays, KS, Larks L 6-5
July 28 Liberal, KS, BeeJays L 8-4
July 29 El Dorado, KS, Broncos L 6-1
July 30 Derby Twins L 7-2
August 1 Opening of the 75th NBC Tournament in Wichita, KS L 6-5

Hey Goldpanners, You're 50!

"Dennis said the people of Fairbanks have kept the Goldpanners afloat for 50 years,  and they have truly made the team their own."

H.A. (Red) Boucher

Film Details Red Boucher's Involvement in Alaskan Baseball

As one Goldpanners player left the theater, he looked at another, both still in uniform, and said, “That was like my story.”

Boucher's Vision Changed Baseball in Alaska - “We had a remarkable relationship from the moment I met him in 1964,” Dennis said. “He was one of those guys that when you met him you knew you would never forget him. There are so few who genuinely stand out that way.”

His family said Boucher earned his lifelong nickname after President Franklin Roosevelt met the red-haired boy and said, “They ought to call you Red.” The family said he ended up in Alaska after campaigning for a young senator from Massachusetts by the name of John F. Kennedy, who told him there was great potential in the far north territory.

Former Fairbanks mayor, Goldpanners founder 'Red' Boucher dies at 88


7/5/9: Land of Midnight Baseball "It gets kind of dusky like when you’re at a ballgame and they’re about to turn the lights on, but you don’t need lights. You start to get some shadows, then the sun comes up again."  "At one point the sky turned really pink," Jablonski said. "But the sun never went past the horizon. It was really cool. I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big."  More than 4,000 boisterous fans attended the game. The game is halted briefly at midnight for the singing of a traditional Alaskan folk song. "They were chanting the whole game," Yinger said. "The sun went down and literally came right back up. "It was awesome. It made the whole trip worth it. It was a great atmosphere."

7/4/9: In the land of "continual sunlight" - "After dinner and the Midnight Sun Festival, Brad and I attended the 104th Midnight Sun Game hosted by the Alaska Goldpanners. It was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. The game started at 10:30 at night and went until about 1 am. The whole game was played under natural light. The furthest the sun went down was a little bit under the horizon but it never got dark. It was neat seeing baseball played under those conditions and to see how much the community supported that game, as over three thousand people attended the game. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to go to the game."

6/14/9: Film Crew Captures Essence of Midnight Sun Four Massachusetts filmmakers spent two years following the teams in the Alaska League. They sent me an advance copy of the DVD, and it is about as in-depth a look at the world of Alaska baseball that we might ever see.

Alaska Has Key Role in NBC
Hey Goldpanners, You're 50!

Broncos Get Revenge on Anchorage at NBC World Series

8/17/9:  "That breeze you feel from the north is the Fairbanks Goldpanners sighing in relief. "The Goldpanners weren't even playing Saturday, but they were among the winners when the Anchorage Glacier Pilots were denied a sixth championship at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan."

8/1/9: Bud Hollowell - Five Decade Goldpanner



The Alaska Goldpanners and the State of Alaska will go on tour this summer.  It is part of the 50th year celebration of the team as well as the State.  The Goldpanners will use a split-squad approach to the upcoming season, advises General Manager Don Dennis.

The Alaska 50 Tour, as it is being dubbed, will cover British Columbia, and the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and feature a week-long visit to Kansas.

"It is the Goldpanners' 50th season and the 75th year of the National Baseball Congress Tournament, so we have combined forces to celebrate the two events," Dennis said.   The Goldpanners will send the split-squad ahead to take part in the ceremonial opening game of the 75 tournament on Aug. 1.  The Panners are the NBC's most celebrated team and they will take on Kansas' most celebrated team, the Liberal BeeJays.

The regular Goldpanners season does no end in Alaska until Aug. 2 but the split-squad unit will assemble for the great barnstorming trip on July 6.  Then, on Aug. 3 the two squads will merge for participation in the NBC's championship play.

The Goldpanners' regular season opens with four games in the Anchorage area on June 11.  The home opener is June 16 against the Fairbanks Adult League all-stars.  First visiting team in Fairbanks this year will be the Oregon Black Sox of Salem on June 17-19 and then the Lake Erie, MI, Monarchs will follow on June 20-22, including the famous Midnight Sun Game at 10:30 p.m. on June 21.  Several big events, including the world premiere of the documentary "Touching the Game: Alaska" are scheduled in and around the sun game.  Special guests this year are 1968 team members Dan Pastorini, the former Houston Oilers quarterback -- among many other things -- and Jerry McClain, former North Pole Nicks manager and head coach at Santa Clara University.

The split-squad unit will gather in Longview, WA, on July 6 and work out at Lower Columbia College for a couple of days before traveling to Kamloops, British Columbia to take part in the 47th Kamloops International Tournament.

Following the tournament it is on to Kelowna, British Columbia, for a three-game series with the Kelowna Falcons.  Then, a stop in Spokane to play the River Hawks of the West Coast Collegiate League -- a team managed by former Panner standout Barry Matthews.   After Spokane the group treks across Idaho to Belgrade, MT, for a meeting with the Belgrade Bandits.  Two off-days follow as the team covers Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska to arrive in Dodge City, KS, for a game with the Dodge City A's.  General Manager of the A's is former Panner and major leaguer Phil Stephenson.

The club then crosses Kansas to Beatrice, NE, and will spend the next three days playing either the Beatrice Bruins and Clarinda, Iowa, A's, depending on the MINK league playoffs.

The final leg begins July 25/26 with a two-day stop in Junction City, KS, to play the Generals, a team managed by former Anchorage Pilots coach Yogi Cox.  The next night it is to Hays, KS, to meet the Larks of the well known manager Frank Leo, and then to Liberal on the 28th to take on the BeeJays.   It will be the Panners' third trip to Liberal.

The group then crosses to the Wichita area and plays at El Dorado against the Broncos on the 29th and at Derby in a game with the Twins on the 30th.   The 31st is an off day and the Panners will host a reception for all former players who can make it to Wichita for the celebration.

The split-squad will play as the Midnight Sun Goldpanners to help cut down on confusion.   Legendary manager Jim Dietz, who was 485 wins in the Panner uniform, will head the road trip while  assisted by his son Steve, a three-year Panner in 1990-1992, and Fairbanksan Randy Barber, who recently has spent his summers coaching in the Czech Republic.   Randy is a nephew of Goldpanners Board of Directors member and recent inductee into the Interior Baseball Hall of Fame, Carroll Barber.   Randy is a retired school teacher in Tempe, AZ.   He was a Panner coach in 1994.

"I will be going on the trip along with my wife Ann and a member of the 'Touching the Game' film crew," says Dennis.   "For Jim Dietz and I this is like old times.  I haven't looked forward to anything this much in a long time."

The Goldpanners have a great barnstorming background but have not played on the road outside of Alaska (save for the national tournament) since 1998.   Barnstorming trips, the nature of the one planned for this season, we common-place in the 1960s and 1970s.   Red Boucher took the Panners on their first barnstorming trip in 1963, stopping in Grand Junction, CO, where they met the Eagles of Sam Suplizio and Don Dennis.

Annual trips followed along with numerous visits to Hawaii and as far away as Japan for a 17-day goodwill tour and to Holland to take part in the Haarlem International Baseball Tournament.   In 1966, during the trip to Hawaii, the Goldpanners captured the World Baseball Tournament by beating the Japanese champion, Kumagai-Gumi.  The Panners also won the Hawaii Invitation Tournament that year.  The Panners have posted a traveling team record unequalled by any other amateur team in history.

May 2009