The Savannah Bananas are going on tour


Ashley Swain

A batter for the Savannah Bananas getting unconditionally low in the batter’s box.

Mark your calendars; the Savannah Bananas, known as the ‘Harlem Globetrotters of baseball’, is scheduled to play on April 29, 2023, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fl. This is part of their tour kicking off on Feb. 17 in West Palm Beach, Florida stretching until Sept. 17, ending in baseball heaven Cooperstown, New York. In their bright yellow uniforms, the Bananas are coming to not just play baseball, but perform and make the game a show with synchronized dances, mini-games, and endless entertainment.

The Bananas were founded in 2015 where they would play in the Coastal Plain League (CPL), winning three Petitt Cup Championships in 2016, 2021, and 2022. However, the Bananas announced in 2022 that they would be leaving the CPL to strictly play exhibition tours under their brand and play style: the now wildly popular “Banana Ball.”

One of the many reasons fans flocks to watch the Bananas play is due to the antics many have seen on their social media feeds. Wiregrass junior, Sophia Gold, believes this is what makes them so exciting to watch.

“The dances they do in between pitches make them fun to watch,” Gold said.

Another student at Wiregrass Ranch High School, Joseph Torres, also finds the team’s social media and antics to be what makes them so appealing to watch.

“The way they play the sport is so funny,” Torres exclaimed. “[My favorite part is] their uniforms and the style of how they play baseball.”

With all the antics the Savannah Bananas are known for, the question arises whether or not exhibition sports teams can generate a stable following despite lacking the funding and consistent fanbase major league sports have. Is the rising popularity and revenue-generating “Banana Ball” here to stay or will it fade like a trend? The concerns regarding the survival of exhibition teams are prominent.

The Savannah Bananas continually sell out stadiums around the United States. (Ashley Swain)

“Even though they are funny [with] their type of style they play, I don’t think they can carve a solid role in the sport,” Torres said.

Gold has a similar opinion regarding the livelihood of the Bananas.

“No, because I see it mostly as a joke even though they take it seriously,” Gold explained.

Despite many seeing the Savannah Bananas as a trend, it seems the popularity is consistent enough to fill the seats. The Bananas continually sell out the baseball diamond and attract fans who have or have not ever attended a game.

Stampede adviser and English Teacher, Ashley Swain, attended a Savannah Bananas game with her family earlier this year.

“It was high energy the entire time,” Swain explained. “There was never a dull moment.”

Swain further backed the Bananas’ wave on social media.

“The games are exactly how they look on TikTok as far as the team always joking around and doing viral trends,” Swain said.

Regardless if the Bananas are here to stay, it is inevitable that the hype is at a high. Their exhibition tour in 2023 is bound to be an entertainment masterpiece around the US. Only one question remains: Will you be in the stands?