Taking the show on the road during the pandemic may not make sense, but the Savannah Bananas (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League) are announcing a One City World Tour for next spring, playing the game by their own rules–literally.
Barnstorming was once a great tradition in baseball, whether it was a Major League team returning to home base from spring training and making several stops along the way (this is why every other old ballpark between Florida and New York City accurately claims Babe Ruth once played a game there), All Stars touring in the off season, or players heading overseas to evangelize the game, a la Lefty O’Doul.
Bananas owner Jesse Cole says the time is right to bring back barnstorming–pandemic or no.
“Every night, we meet fans who have traveled to Savannah to come to a Bananas game. These fans drive from all over the country and even come from Ireland, South Africa, and Japan. We believe it is now time to begin bringing the Bananas show to their cities. We’ll be the only barnstorming baseball team in the world,” Cole said. “And we’re looking for our historic first stop on a World Tour.”
The Bananas are calling on fans to help determine which city and stadium will make the cut for the One City World Tour in spring 2o21. The Bananas will face off against their newest rival, the Party Animals. The rosters for both teams will be filled by independent players who have been scouted, tried out, and signed contracts for the spring series. In addition to these players, one player will be selected from the One City World Tour host city.
“Our hope is that over the next several years, we can go to multiple cities every spring and bring entertainment experiences to new Bananas fans across the country. We’re just getting started,“ Cole added.
As noted, this game will be played under slightly different rules, per the Bananas: “BananaBall is a fast-paced, action-packed style of baseball with rules that include no bunting, no walks, a two-hour time limit, fans catching foul balls for outs, batters stealing first base, and a one-on-one tiebreaker showdown at the end of the game.”
Fans who want to bring the Savannah Bananas to their city can submit their nomination at the Bananas website. The Bananas will review the nominations and narrow them down to five finalists and ultimately one city which will be announced on November 10.
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