Dancing? Baseball? That’s Bananas!

Peyton Parks, Sports Editor

There may be no crying in baseball, but for the Savannah Bananas there’s dancing. And lots of it.

The Bananas stormed their way on the scene via TikTok (@thesavbananas) where they post a variety of videos from their exciting games. While amassing nearly 2 million followers on the app, they’re definitely growing their antics to superstar levels.

Admittedly, many critique baseball as a boring sport–even some baseball fans would agree. So the Bananas have put a twist on the normal 9 inning no time limit baseball.

It’s not just dancing in between innings or even pitches. The Bananas created their own version of baseball named “Banana Ball”. It’s the same set up as a normal baseball game–with a pitcher and a catcher, nine total fielders.

But the similarities mostly end there. Banana ball has a two-hour time limit to every game, and  every inning counts as a single point. The team that scores the most runs wins the point for that inning. Once a team reaches five points the game is over.

In their attempt to entertain spectators, they also include fans in the game; if a fan catches a foul ball it’s an out. 

Typically, after ball four the batter takes his good old time down the baseline to first base. Now in banana ball, after ball four the race begins as it’s an all out sprint for the batter while the defense must have every defensive player on the field touch the ball for it to become a live play.

In the summer of 2020, the Bananas introduced fans to Banana Ball with an inter-squad scrimmage. Based on the success from that season, they split up into two teams, The Bananas and The Party Animals for their 2021 season. 

This wacky twist on baseball has proven to be successful as the Bananas have sold out every banana ball game they’ve played this year. 

The Bananas have even earned a spot on streaming service ESPN + as many people want to experience this new baseball.

These players have come together to make the perfect combination of these guys who can play ball and entertain. I mean I can’t imagine there is another baseball team who occasionally wears kilts while they play.

The players are either all returning Bananas or recently graduated college baseball players who are looking for the opportunity to play after going undrafted.

The team holds tryouts, but like their baseball,  they’re not a normal tryout. Current Bananas pitcher and Bananas academy instructor Kyle Luigs said “The tryout process is to see if they can play and entertain the thousands of fans we play in front of.”

Whether this wacky take on classic baseball is good or bad for the game is still unknown. Any attention right now is seen as a win for the Bananas, “Some of the stuff we do may not be liked by everyone, but it is targeted to get the next generation of baseball excited and involved in the game,” Luigs said.

The future of banana ball still remains to be told but the future is bright. 

Luigs said, “We have our first test in a couple weeks as we end the banana ball tour by playing the Kansas City Monarchs. The fans are so excited for us to bring the show to Kansas City, but it will present its own challenges not playing against the Party Animals.”

Although this kind of ball may be frowned upon by ‘baseball purists’ it is putting baseball in the forefront and giving it the attention and twist the game has been needing for quite some time.