Savannah Bananas deliver a dance party to Legends Field

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This past Friday and Saturday saw what ESPN once called “…baseball, but it’s also part circus and part professional wrestling, with cruise-like entertainment and Harlem Globetrotter sensibilities.”

The Savannah Bananas wrapped up their 2022 Summer World Tour as they faced the Kansas City Monarchs at Legends Field. This two-day event showed exactly what an entertaining sports event should be.

The Bananas’ traveling entourage includes the ball club, a pep band, the “Man-Nanas” (a self-proclaimed “Dad Bod Cheerleading Squad”), a video and photography team, beloved Public Announcer “Shark,” and Jesse Cole—the all-yellow tuxedo and top hat wearing owner doubling as the team’s Master of Ceremonies.

They may seem like a rag-tag group of individuals akin to the Bad News Bears, but the Bananas are actually a very well-oiled machine built to play for sold out baseball crowds and to engage spectators with activities like “The Slowest Race in History.” The team will sporadically run out of the dugouts and invade the stands for dance-offs and to sign autographs throughout the game.

This weekend even included a guest designated hitter appearance by former Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals’ player Jonny Gomes (Gomes made 12 regular season appearances for the Royals in 2015).

Along with this party comes a very specific set of rules to help keep the game going. Every inning counts, meaning that the team that earns the most runs in an inning (no matter how many they scored) only gets a single point for said inning—thus winning. They keep a strict two-hour time limit per game.

There is absolutely no bunting. If a player bunts, they will be thrown out of the game.

There are no walks allowed during the game. Ever. If a pitcher throws four balls, then something amazing happens—a race ensues.The hitter takes off running towards first base while the catcher has to throw the ball around to every defensive player on the field before the ball becomes live.

There are no mound visits at all. This is done to keep the game moving.

If there is a foul ball and a fan catches it, the batter is out. “Shark” is heard over the PA system either encouraging fans to catch or drop a ball, depending on who is at bat.

In the event of a tie score at the end of the two-hour mark, each team will pick one pitcher and one hitter to face off against each other. The defensive team only has a pitcher, a catcher, and one fielder. 

The two-game series over the weekend ended with the Monarchs taking Friday night’s game with score of 3-2, and the Bananas taking Saturday’s game with the same.

More information about the Savannah Bananas can be found on their website. The Kansas City Monarchs begin their regular season on May 13.

 

Categories: Sports