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For Midnight Sun Game, 24 hours of Play Ball

MLB announces celebratory activities leading up to main event in Fairbanks
MLB.com

Major League Baseball is celebrating the 113th Midnight Sun Game on June 21 by organizing an unprecedented 24 hours of Play Ball events around this year's game in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Throughout the 24-hour period of daylight during summer solstice, MLB and its partners -- the American Legion, PONY Baseball and Softball, USA Baseball and USA Softball -- are hosting a number of baseball and softball activities for both adults and kids.

Major League Baseball is celebrating the 113th Midnight Sun Game on June 21 by organizing an unprecedented 24 hours of Play Ball events around this year's game in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Throughout the 24-hour period of daylight during summer solstice, MLB and its partners -- the American Legion, PONY Baseball and Softball, USA Baseball and USA Softball -- are hosting a number of baseball and softball activities for both adults and kids.

During the "Open Session" Play Ball events, approximately 600 youth players, ages 6 to 12, will run through informal baseball and softball stations. Each participant will receive a bat and ball set, as well as Play Ball T-shirts and wristbands. Registration for the open sessions is available at www.PlayBall.org/events.

The day's other activities include games featuring baseball and softball organizations -- including the Armed Forces Softball League, American Legion, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and USA Baseball and USA Softball -- which culminates with the Midnight Sun Game.

The main event is between collegiate summer baseball teams, the Alaska Goldpanners and the Orange County Surf at Fairbanks' Growden Park. It's scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. local time and does not use any artificial light. The Midnight Sun Game was first played in 1906 and has been hosted annually by the Goldpanners since 1960, their first year of competition.

Billy Bean, a former big leaguer and MLB's vice president for social responsibility and special assistant to the Commissioner, will be in attendance. Bean was named the Goldpanners' Most Valuable Player in 1985.

Other special guests include Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly, USA Baseball's chief development officer Rick Riccobono, Goldpanners general manager John Lohrke, USA Softball's executive director Craig Cress, Pony Baseball and Softball president Abe Key, MLB's vice president for baseball and softball development David James, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Karl Kassel and North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.