Pipeline to the Big Time

H.A. “Red” Boucher was a pioneer in numerous fields. In summer baseball, Boucher recognized the quality of the amateur athlete, noting in 1960 that “collegiate baseball is becoming a viable source for major league talent.” By forming a roster comprised solely of amateur players – utilizing no professional or semi-pros, as was the custom of the day – Red paved the way for collegiate baseball to become the direct route to the major league it is today.

Among the roughly 1,600 players and coaches to have donned a Goldpanners uniform through the 2016 season, hundreds have continued their careers into professional baseball, with over 200 having made it all the way to the pinnacle of the game in Major League Baseball.  There is perhaps no better way to measure the success that the Alaska Goldpanners program has attained over the years than by the number of players they have sent to the professional ranks and to the major leagues.

Many reasons for the immense success of the Goldpanners alumni can be offered, but perhaps the easiest explanation is the intense conditioning only baseball in Alaska can provide. Raising the overall demands – physical as well as mental – upon a person teaches them how to deal with adversity and raise the intensity of their approach. All “sourdoughs” (native-born or longtime residents of Alaska) are familiar with this phenomenon. Panner athletes are taken far from home, and are expected to perform every day of the week against top-notch competition (unlike the collegiate season, which plays only on weekends). Mix in the ruggedness of the Alaskan experience, and the athlete is forced to find a previously unapproached level of mental and physical discipline in order to succeed.

A number of Goldpanners have also ascending to the top of the game in MLB front offices. The 2015 MLB World Series champion Kansas City Royals, for example, had three Goldpanners in management: Luis Medina (83-84), Jim Fregosi Jr. (83) and Don Wakamatsu (83).  For Dan Pastorini (68), the top of the game was as starting Quarterback for the Houston Oilers N.F.L. franchise.

Equally impressive is the number of players under contract who signed professionally before making an appearance in a game.  This extensive list includes Sid Bream, Joe Carter, Roger Clemens, Darryl Strawberry, Greg Vaughn, Bobby Witt, and many other elite major league players.

Listed below are all MLB Goldpanners, listed by debut and club.  Those highlighted by an asterisk joined the Panners following their MLB debut.

06/18/61
10/03/64
09/02/65
09/11/65
04/26/66
09/03/66
04/13/67
07/01/67
07/05/67
07/27/67
09/06/67
09/07/67
05/27/68
07/04/68
09/09/68
06/25/69
04/09/70
04/24/70
06/14/70
09/09/70
06/20/71
06/23/71
07/30/71
07/31/71
09/15/71
09/19/71
05/17/72
06/07/72
07/31/72
09/10/72
04/08/73
04/09/73
06/18/73
07/04/73
07/19/73
04/04/74
04/07/74
06/14/74
07/27/74
04/08/75
06/14/75
05/15/76
09/17/76
04/07/77
04/19/77
05/05/77
04/07/78
04/07/78
06/29/78
07/09/78
08/06/78
08/19/78
04/11/79
06/08/79
09/07/79
09/17/79
04/11/80
06/01/80
06/12/80
06/28/80
09/01/80
09/04/80
09/06/80
09/08/80
09/20/80
04/11/81
04/12/81
04/26/81
05/20/81
08/19/81
09/02/81
09/09/81
09/15/81
04/07/82
04/09/82
07/06/82
09/11/82
09/12/82
04/05/83
06/02/83
09/02/83
09/02/83
09/13/83
09/20/83
04/03/84
04/03/84
04/05/84
04/11/84
06/02/84
07/28/84
05/19/85
06/26/85
09/05/85
04/11/86
05/30/86
07/19/86
09/02/86
09/05/86
09/06/86
04/25/87
04/25/87
05/25/87
07/04/87
07/02/87
09/14/87
04/07/88
04/26/88
06/02/88
07/14/88
07/20/88
09/02/88
09/05/88
09/12/88
09/14/88
09/16/88
04/05/89
06/07/89
07/07/89
07/15/89
08/19/89
04/09/90
09/06/90
09/18/90
09/02/90
05/07/91
05/22/91
05/25/91
06/16/91
07/02/91
09/01/91
09/02/91
05/17/92
05/17/92
08/03/92
08/06/92
08/19/92
05/05/93
05/29/93
05/29/93
05/31/93
07/28/93
08/13/93
09/01/93
09/04/93
09/12/93
09/21/93
04/05/94
04/05/94
04/19/94
07/18/94
04/28/95
04/28/95
04/30/95
05/08/95
08/02/95
09/10/95
04/02/96
05/18/96
09/06/96
05/31/97
09/03/97
03/31/98
04/02/98
06/09/99
08/21/99
08/27/99
09/03/99
09/07/99
08/29/00
09/04/00
09/07/00
04/06/01
07/16/01
09/19/01
05/10/02
09/03/02
06/26/03
09/02/03
07/02/04
09/08/04
04/16/05
09/18/05
04/01/06
07/02/07
03/21/08
07/11/08
07/21/08
05/21/09
05/24/09
09/01/09
07/21/10
09/08/11
06/16/13
06/23/13
09/03/13
04/08/15
08/20/15
06/11/16
Don Leppert*
Dave Dowling
Dick Selma*
Charlie Hartenstein
Jimy Williams
Rick Monday
Tom Seaver
Mike Adamson
Curt Motton
Dan Frisella
Graig Nettles
Al Schmelz
Mike Paul
Andy Messersmith
Eddie Leon
Bill Lee
Rich Hand
Greg Garrett
Steve Dunning
Jim Nettles
Pete Broberg
Tom House
Dave Kingman
Jim Barr
Don Rose
Dan Pastorini (NFL)
Bob Gallagher
Dave Roberts
Brent Strom
Bob Boone
John Andrews
Rich Troedson
Dave Winfield
Eddie Bane*
Craig Caskey
Jim Sundberg
Mike Reinbach
Steve Swisher
Rusty Gerhardt
Jim Umbarger
Kerry Dineen
Pete Redfern
Gary Wheelock
Steve Kemp
Floyd Bannister
Jackson Todd
Chuck Baker
Don Reynolds
Dwight Bernard*
Dennis Littlejohn
Scott Sanderson
Bruce Robinson
Eric Wilkins
Dan Graham
Sandy Whitol
Dave Schuler
Dave Smith
Vance Law
Mike Kinnunen
Tim Lollar
Bobby Mitchell
Dave Edler
Tim Wallach
John Butcher
Ken Phelps
Dan Boone
Tim Leary
Danny Garcia
Greg Harris
Terry Francona
Ron Roenicke
Tim Tolman
Dave Hostetler
Ed Vande Berg
Gary Rajsich
Don Slaught
Chris Codiroli
Dave Baker
Mike Couchee
Kevin McReynolds
Mike Fuentes
Harold Reynolds
Jeff Doyle
Marty Decker
Ben Hines
Dave Meier
Ron Romanick
Alvin Davis
Jeff Cornell
Ed Amelung
Oddibe McDowell
Bob Sebra
Kevin Romine
Dan Plesac
Barry Bonds
Billy Moore
Dave Cochrane
Pat Dodson
Brad Arnsberg
Billy Bean
Joe Magrane
Shane Mack
Mike Campbell
Alex Madrid
Dave Stapleton
Don Heinkel
Craig Worthington
Don August
John Fishel
Roger Samuels
Luis Medina
Mike Harkey
Dennis Cook
Chad Kreuter
Steve Wilson
Phil Stephenson
Jeff Wetherby
Mike Benjamin
Kevin Ritz
Rob Richie
Tim Layana
Paul Faries
Brent Mayne
Al Osuna
Chris Donnels
Don Wakamatsu
Jose Mota
Bret Barberie
Mark Davis
Tom Goodwin
Ed Zosky
Brad Brink
Benji Figueroa
Doug Linton
Shawn Barton
Bret Boone
Pat Meares
Greg Brummett
Kevin Higgins
Daryl Scott
Ty VanBurkleo
Brian Turang
Roger Smithberg
Eric Helfand
Bob Hamelin
Marc Ronan
Mike Kelly
Keith Lockhart
Jeff Tabaka
Eric Schullstrom
Todd Steverson
Gary Wilson
Steve Rodriguez
Jason Giambi
F.P. Santangelo
Darrell May
Dan Naulty
Shad Williams
Mike Robertson
Jose Cruz Jr.
Dan Rohrmeier
Travis Lee
Bobby Hughes
Jacque Jones
Adam Kennedy
Robert Ramsay
Cole Liniak
Jeff DaVanon
Jerrod Riggan
Todd Belitz
Michael Young
Christian Parker
Adam Pettyjohn
Jason Phillips
Jason Lane
Jim Rushford
Aaron Heilman
Bobby Crosby
David Bush
Greg Dobbs
Dave Gassner
Ryan Garko
Steve Hecht
Brendan Ryan
Sheng-Wei Wang#
Mike Cervenak
Brooks Conrad
Kris Medlen
Carlos Fisher
Brian Jeroloman
Brad Davis
Chris Schwinden
Jake Dunning
Ryan Robowski
Zac Rosscup
Allan Dykstra
Dustin Garneau
J.T. Chargois
PIT
STL
NYM
CHC
STL
KCA
NYM
BAL
BAL
NYM
MIN
NYM
CLE
CAL
CLE
BOS
CLE
CAL
CLE
MIN
WAS
ATL
SFG
SFG
NYM
HOU
BOS
SDP
NYM
PHI
STL
SDP
SDP
MIN
MON
TEX
BAL
CHC
SDP
TEX
NYY
MIN
CAL
DET
HOU
NYM
SDP
SDP
NYM
SFG
MON
OAK
CLE
MIN
CLE
CAL
HOU
PIT
MIN
NYY
LAD
SEA
MON
TEX
KCR
SDP
NYM
KCR
NYM
MON
LAD
HOU
MON
SEA
NYM
KCR
OAK
TOR
SDP
SDP
MON
SEA
STL
SDP
LAD
MIN
CAL
SEA
SFG
LAD
TEX
TEX
BOS
MIL
PIT
MON
CWS
BOS
NYY
DET
STL
SDP
SEA
MIL
MIL
STL
BAL
MIL
HOU
SFG
CLE
CHC
SFG
TEX
TEX
CHC
ATL
SFG
DET
DET
CIN
SDP
KCR
HOU
NYM
CWS
SDP
MON
CAL
LAD
TOR
PHI
STL
TOR
SEA
SEA
MIN
SFG
SDP
CAL
CAL
SEA
OAK
OAK
KCR
STL
ATL
SDP
PIT
MIN
DET
PIT
BOS
OAK
MON
ATL
MIN
CAL
SFG
SEA
SEA
ARI
MIL
MIN
STL
SEA
CHC
ANA
NYM
OAK
TEX
NYY
DET
NYM
HOU
MIL
NYM
OAK
TOR
SEA
MIN
CLE
TEX
STL
BRO
PHI
OAK
ATL
CIN
TOR
FLA
NYM
SFG
DET
CHC
TBR
COL
MIN

#Wang ascended to the major leagues in Japan.