Pioneers History: Tom Seaver’s First Game in Fairbanks

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This History Nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska, who would like to encourage everyone to go out to the Alaska Goldpanners games and be a part of our great baseball history!

This week’s Pioneer History Nugget compliments of Pioneers of Alaska Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8:
It is baseball season at last, and today we will share a bit of history regarding the Alaska Goldpanners baseball team.  Tom Seaver one of the most famous Major League players ever, played two seasons right here under our Midnight Sun, as a pitcher for the Alaska Goldpanners during the 1964 and 1965 seasons.   Here is the exciting story of his first game in Fairbanks that took place on July 19, 1964, and of his pitching career as a member of the Panner team: 
 
Excerpt from the Fairbanks Daily News Miner- May 16, 1966
 
“Coming to Fairbanks after the season had started (he had put in his summer duty as a Marine Reserve) he lost no time getting into action.  After arriving on an afternoon flight he was taken to the Boucher Apartment for a uniform and then to the ballpark.  He entered the park just in time to be given a ball and sent to the bullpen to warm up—having time to meet only the player who was to warm him up. 
 
The Panners got deeper in trouble and Seaver was waved in to the mound—and this was when he met, for the first time, his catcher and infield teammates.  After putting out the fire, Seaver walked to the Panner dugout where he was to finally meet the rest of the Panners. 
 
Seaver’s two seasons with the Panners were both short ones in Fairbanks due to Marine Reserve obligations though he was able to be with the team for both tournaments at Wichita. 
 
In 1964 Seaver made the All-American team selected at the tournament.  He appeared in five games, winning two without a loss.  This was the season the Panners used two or more pitchers a game, using relief hurlers even when the starter was not in trouble.  One of Seaver’s games was a no-hitter he shared with Mike Paul.  In 1965 he pitched in two games, winning one and losing one. 
 
In each year, Seaver chalked up the most tournament innings of any of the Panner pitchers and ended up with a 2.25 earned run average in 1964 and a 1.19 average last year—a combined two year average of 1.57.” 
 

Note: Tom went on to play for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox.  He is a 2011 inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and to this day there are very few players that have matched is performance on the mound.   This History Nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska, who would like to encourage everyone to go out to the Alaska Goldpanners games this week and be a part of our great baseball history!


Thank you  Jim & Jan Plaquet and George Lounsbury for sharing!

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