The Alaska Goldpanners take on the San Diego Waves for Opening Day

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:54 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaska Goldpanners baseball is back for the season. It’s time for fans to get excited for Ball Park Franks and another 30 win season from the team. The countdown clock is ticking its way closer to the zero hour for the first game against the San Diego Waves.

Expectations are high after the last few seasons for the Goldpanners. The team’s general manager, John Lohrke, plans to move those goals and expectations for this season to a literal fact.

“Well, obviously, you want to win, you know. There’s a tournament in Canada, we won that in 2019. They didn’t play it in 20 and 21, so we weren’t able to defend our crown last year, so we’d like to try to do that again. You know, there’s obviously the Midnight Sun game, which is, we always want to win that game. You know, because it’s going to be our biggest crowd,” explains Lohrke.

Lohrke added, “So we finish off in Oregon. I don’t know if we’ll be in a postseason tournament after that, because things are pretty expensive travel wise. But we’ve won 30 games over the last four years, and we’d like to make it five in a row.”

There are a few players who have decided to play for their hometown team while a majority of the players come to Fairbanks to play for the Goldpanners from the western side of the United States.

“Yeah, those would be the guys that live here in the area. One guy in the army, Raymond Padilla, and then there’s two guys that are from this area that play college outside, and then they come home for the summer, and we could use their help with the Goldpanners, Alex Garcia and Andrew Troppmann,” said Lohrke.

For the fans looking for gear and swag online and can’t find it, they won’t have to worry anymore. The team store at Growden Park will be open and ready to go for games, especially with all the fun promotions planned for the season. “The first six nights are all promotion nights with businesses that have really done a good job of bringing us, you know, helping bring us some big crowds. So, we don’t want to get caught short with anything at the ballpark, and it just allows us to just kind of see straight and manage our inventory,” said Lohrke.