Archive for the ‘History & Media’ Category

Goldpanners Baseball Cards Unique

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Summer Collegiate Leagues a Unique Hobby Source

by Ed Kobak

February 26, 2008

Over the years, articles have appeared in the pages of Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and other print media, as well as television documentaries, on summer collegiate baseball leagues. Many of these articles have focused on the ever-popular Alaska Baseball League and the Cape Cod League, with their stunning backdrops of mountains, glaciers, wildlife and shorelines, while college ballplayers toil in the background with the hopes to catch the eye of pro scouts.

In all these past articles, the focus has been on the ballplayers.

In this article, as in one I wrote for SCD on the Fairbanks Goldpanners card set some 15-plus years ago, the focus is on the collectibles that are available from these teams and leagues.


About Scratch ‘n Spit Baseball Cards

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

It was a single pack of Topps baseball cards that served as the catalyst for the Goldpanners’ entry into the trading card market. It was in that very first green wax pack — stale gum and all — that your storyteller found it.. a Don Mattingly card! Never mind that it was just Don’s all-star card, and not his more valuable player card (those nuances of supply and demand were yet to be discovered). However, the spark was lit and the push for official Alaska Goldpanners baseball cards was on.

Since 1987, the club has produced more than twenty different card sets — and not only for Fairbanks, but for the entire Alaska Baseball League as well. The very first offerings were printed together and later cut separately to become the “1988 Team” and the “1960’s All Stars” sets.

Almost immediately, the national press picked up on the Fairbanks entrance into the market. Due to the abundance of cards representing super-famous stars as they were when teenagers, the sets have always attracted a greater deal of attention than might be expected for a non major league team. The Barry Bonds card, featuring a picture of the home run king as a fresh faced (and quite less muscled) nineteen-year-old, is one of the most popular offerings to have been produced by the Goldpanners’ outfit — known as “Scratch ‘n Spit Baseball Cards.”