Flattened by a thunderbolt at Newby Field

Only one person in 12,000 is struck by lightning during their lifetime. Not all survive. I was that one.

The date was July 28, 1993 — the day before my 25th birthday. At 6:45 p.m., I was standing on a baseball field in North Pole, a small community 15 miles southeast of Fairbanks, waiting for the game to begin. Our team — the Alyeska Pipeline Tigers – was about to face the North Pole Titans.

Continue reading

2005: ESPN at the Midnight Sun game

By Jim Caple
ESPN.com

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The Midnight Sun game is like most baseball games -except here the shadows are still creeping across the infield at close to 11 p.m.

“Nobody here knows if the lights have ever been turned on or not,” Alaska Goldpanners manager Ed Cheff said, squinting through the golden sunlight at the light towers at Growden Park. “The rumor is that they might not even work. I know they’ve never been on in the four years I’ve been here. You talk to the locals about the lights and they just laugh and say, ‘Yeah, we don’t know about them, either.'” Continue reading

1986: On Alaska’s long sunny evenings, you can watch some very good amateur baseball.

The “Midnight Sun’ game: On Alaska’s long sunny evenings, you can watch some very good amateur baseball.

Alaskans love baseball. On long summer evenings and weekend days, everybody, it seems, plays softball. And when they’re not at bat or fielding, Alaskans fill hometown grandstands to watch the teams of the Alaska Baseball League play some of the best amateur hardball in the West. Continue reading

Don Dennis, Mark Grace enter NBC Hall of Fame

“..the most successful figure in NBC history”

Four men, including former major-leaguer Mark Grace, will be inducted into the National Baseball Congress World Series during this year’s tournament, July 31-Aug. 14 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Grace, longtime NBC player-manager Carl Kentling, Alaska general manager Don Dennis and longtime fan “Baseball” Bill Gwinup make up the class. Kentling and Gwinup will be inducted between games on Aug 7, while Grace and Dennis’ times are to be determined. Continue reading