Due to the Summer solstice, the Sun won’t set in Fairbanks, Alaska today. Time for the annual Midnight Sun game which was held for the first time in 1906 and is a regular event since 1960.
Today there will be 24 hours of baseball events in Fairbanks. The main event will be the game between the collegiate Alaska Goldpanners, that participated in the Haarlem Baseball Week in the early 70s with Dave Winfield in its ranks, and the Orange County Surf.
There will be several so-called “Open Sessions” play ball events in which about 600 children will run through informal baseball and softball stations. The day’s other activities include games featuring baseball and softball organizations, including the Armed Forces Softball League, American Legion, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and USA Baseball and USA Softball, which culminates with the Midnight Sun Game.
The day will be supported by MLB, PONY League baseball and softball, the American Legion, USA Baseball and – Softball. The main event, Midnight Sun Game, will start at 10.00 PM and no artificial light will be used. This year it will be the 113th time the game is played. In 1960, the game was hosted by the Alaska Goldpanners for the first time. That year was their first year of competition. The opposing team may be another Alaska Baseball League team, but frequently an NCAA or another collegiate summer team from another league is invited to play.
Former Major Leaguer Billy Bean, who was the Goldpanners MVP in 1985 will be in the stands.
Since its inception in 1960, the Goldpanners have won 45 Midnight Sun games and lost 12.