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.

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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

The story behind the story of North Pole’s name

I got an e-mail from Neil Davis the other day. The son of homesteader Bon Davis, Neil is well-known in his own right, but his father is one of the reasons North Pole is North Pole.

He said that while it is true that investors Dahl and Gaske originated the idea of the name–thinking it would draw toy manufacturers to the area–and it is true that in 1952 Bon Davis petitioned the U.S. District Court to change the name from “Davis” to North Pole, there is more to the story. Continue reading

Replacing ping! with crack! for Alaskan summer

Linda Douglass
Alaska e-Post online

The boys of summer are back, and Alaska baseball fans’ winter-long dreams have finally become reality.

The sharp crack of the wooden bat connecting with the leather ball, the muffled slap of the ball hitting the pocket of the glove, the fans cheering their team and booing the umpires, homeruns, spectacular catches, well-executed double plays, stolen bases and occasionally even a triple play – all are signs that it’s baseball season once again. Continue reading

Tim Gloyd (87) Named Alaska Goldpanners 2007 Skipper

“”He has the unique fit to work summer baseball” Alaska League style,” Goldpanners GM Don Dennis said in an e-mail. “The Alaska League is no show league like the Cape Cod has become. It is a down and dirty competition among the cities, and the players get infected with that.” “I am extremely excited that Tim was available to take the position. I felt he was the right guy from the moment the position opened.”

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Chad Kretuer (83-84) Settles in as USC Head Coach

By Dave Albee

As if replacing his successful father-in-law as head baseball coach at USC isn’t motivation enough, Chad Kreuter has found an even greater source of inspiration right next door.

The former major-league catcher and Marin native is embracing the chance to coach and work in the Los Angeles Coliseum-sized shadow of USC football coach and fellow Redwood High graduate Pete Carroll. Kreuter has one goal in mind, and it’s essentially the same one Carroll had when he arrived on campus. Continue reading