2004: 99th MSG • PannerBlog | Brett Andrade • Allen Balmer • Cameron Blair • Jose Castanon • Johnny Coit • Brad Davis • Carlos Fisher • Rollie Gibson • Reid Hamblet • Jameson Hester • Brian Jeroloman • Paul Keck • Derrick Landavaso • Mike Lissman • Kenny Maiques • David Moore • Brandon Morris • Trevor Mortensen • Joe Persichina • Ray Ravago • Kinsey Reeves • Scott Sarver • Ryan Shaver • Arman Sidhu • Jeff Stimpson • Jordan Struble • Sean Timmons | 2004 Baseball Cards | All-Time Roster • All-Time Lineups
The Panners had just played what was essentially a win-(and go to Wichita)-or-go-home game against the Peninsula Oilers, and the home team had come up on the short end, losing 8-3. The Alaska Baseball League title race has been so tight this season, that the Panners have anticipated for weeks that both their league title hopes and their chance to lock up one of the ABL’s two berths for post-season play at the National Baseball Congress championships in Wichita, would hinge on the week’s four-game series with the Oilers.
The Panners went into the final home game in sole possession of the league lead- after winning the first three games of this series- and with only two games left in their regular season; but after losing the last night the could not even finish second in the ABL race, falling as far as fourth -that’s how tight things are at the top.
The Panners needed to win their final league game of the season against the Miners in Palmer on Saturday to keep their Wichita hopes alive; but, it was not to be for the 2004 season. In fact, the Mat-Su Miners eventually took the league crown, finishing second in the NBC tournament. “It’s just a rat race right down to the finish,” said the Panners first baseman, Joe Persichina, after the game. “We were in first place before this game and we lost, and now we might not even be in the top three.”
The Panners can be proud of taking three of four from a tough Oilers team, that came into Fairbanks in first place and full of confidence; and the Panners played cooly in winning the two one-run, nail-biting contests of the series. And win or lose, it’s easy to appreciate how much each of the Panners respect the efforts of their teammates and enjoy playing together.
“We’ve got a great team up here,” said second baseman Cameron Blair, who was named the 2004 ABL player of the year, who went 1-for-2 in the game with 2 walks. “You play with a great bunch of guys and with great coaches . I can’t say enough about these guys. We’re good together and we’ve been clicking and it’s been a heck of a summer.” And despite missing the first ten games of the season, Blair still smacked an eye-popping eleven home runs- and he hit four in one day (three in the first game and one in the second game) in a July 10 double dip at Growden against the Miners. Impressively, even without his four-home-run- day, Blair would still lead the league in round-trippers.
“I’d go with these guys any day of the week,” said DH David Moore, echoing Blair’s sentiments about their fellow Goldpanners, as Moore shared a seat with some of his teammates on the picnic table outside GM Don Dennis’ office after Thursday’s game.. “I’ve had a blast being with these guys.” (Written by Andy Sterns)
"Mat and Su weren't the only mascots at Saturday's doubleheader. Charlie the dog, who hangs out with the Fairbanks broadcast-webcast crew of Todd Dennis and Gero Von Dehn, is fast becoming a friendly face in ABL press boxes. Charlie gladly accepts pieces of hamburger or hot dog." Doyle Woody, Anchorage Daily News
2004 PANNER PICTURES
Bill & Tammy Madigan
"Just wanted to send pictures of the clinic held by Coach Strankman, Kyle Bowers, & Joe Persichina on June 18th for the Fairbanks T-ballers. The kids really enjoyed the time they spent learning some of the basics of baseball. It is great to see they take time out of their day to spend with these kids. Many thanks go out to them. "
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