Written by Biko Skalla:

It’s cliche as ever, but if you wrote a script for the final weekend of the Banana Ball World Tour and handed it to someone in the film business they would tell you it’s too unbelievable. Back-to-back sold out crowds bursting with energy, insane promotions, wild celebrations, surprise celebrity appearances, and two incredible ballgames between the lines. So let’s take a deep dive into all the madness that made up the first two games of Banana Ball played against a professional opponent outside of the Bananas umbrella.

There’s no better place to start off than the journey to Kansas City, which for everyone besides myself and Kurt, Dalton’s Darling, Kessler, was through the sky…

I never thought I could be so fired up from a video of guys boarding and then getting off a plane. That’s the magic of Zack, Dance Dance Revolution, Breaux, right there!

Of course it wouldn’t be the first ever Bananas flights to go play ball without a Tik Tok in the airport…

Talk about a catchy tune.

Once we made it over to the ballpark and got to meet the Monarchs, it was time get to work on some Bananas entertainment basics…

One thing that I stressed a healthy amount on the broadcast is just how bought in the Monarchs were from the jump. On behalf of all of us in Bananaland, we can’t thank the front office, coaches, and most importantly the players enough for getting weird and goofy with us. The product on the field is so next level when the opposing team gets involved in the antics and have a blast doing so.

Once the Monarchs had survived Bananas orientation, it was time to open the gates and release one of the most excited crowds in Nanners history…

Pretty bonkers scene!

To get loose before the ballgame the fellas got a little water cup challenge going…

Now there have been plenty of steps along this World Tour path that have caused me to stop and think about just how crazy this whole thing is. Right here is one of those moments…

This cat made it to five of the seven stops on the Tour! Talk about dedication.

Now here comes another example of the Monarchs being rock stars on the entertainment front, as none other than Matt, Big City, Adams, volunteered to do the pregame weigh in…

That’s a 10-year MLB vet and World Series champion who was playing for the Rockies just this past summer, absolutely munching the Tik Tok dance with Colin, We Found Love in a Hopeless Place, Ledbetter.

When it came time to play ball, well let’s just say things didn’t start too well for our guys. Nanners starter Kyle, I’m the Bait and Dearman’s the Hook, Luigs, gave up 6 runs in the top of the first, but only one of them was earned. Then the Bananas leadoff hitter promptly popped out to a fan, leading to a scoreless half inning and a 1-0 lead for the Monarchs. That first inning had big time, “We’re not in Savannah anymore,” vibes.

Luckily for us we could ease our troubled minds by putting five toddlers up against each other in what’s basically a “who will crawl at all” completion…

Yeah, I too am all in on the toddler races, which have been exceptionally exciting as of late.

The Monarchs pushed a run across in the 2nd and were able to keep the Bananas off the board to snag a 2-0 lead in the all important points category.

There was no time to despair for the Nanners, only time to dance…

Fired up by the moving and grooving from his teammates, Kyle tossed a 1-2-3 top of the 3rd, collecting two K’s along the way. In the bottom half with pinch runner Jacob, It’s Walk-Off Weekend for Me, Teston, leading off of second base, Bill, 🎶Ring My Bell🎶, LeRoy, took his first at-bat of the Challenger Series…

Almost unbelievable that’s what Bill did in his first at-bat in KC. The script just gets crazier from here, trust me.

But first, back to your regularly scheduled programming of toddlers being hilarious during promotions…

The Monarchs were able to push a run across in the top of the 4th and the Bananas were one out away from losing the inning when Andrew,  Boy I Look Good in Yellow, Don, laced a single up the middle to bring in Tanner, Blue Steel, Thomas, knotting the inning at a run apiece.

Bill, Hank Aaron’s Final Victim, Lee, came in and threw a scoreless frame. Breland, I Don’t Even Remember How to Run Normally, Almadova, led off the bottom of the 5th with a single and then stole second base. Jacob Teston stepped up to the dish and took part in his second walk-off of the night…

The Monarchs pushed a run across in the top of the 6th on back-to-back walks, the first of which was argued furiously over as Eric, 🎶I’ve Got 99 Problems but NoFilter Ain’t One🎶, Byrnes, and the Bananas dugout were certain the hitter failed to check his swing.

That run would prove to be the difference, as the Bananas would lose the inning 1-0 and the game 3-2, despite Mat, You’re on the Mound Next Year Gillum, Wolf’s impressive scoreless top of the 7th thrown.

The drama came at the end of the ballgame, as the inning winning run stood on first base in the form of 2-2 on the day Andrew Don. With two outs, Dalton, I Wish Vincent Said She Caught It, Cornett, popped a 3-1 pitch foul and it appeared to be caught by a fan, which would of course ended the game. But fans around her claimed it was dropped, and Vincent trusted them as honest folk so he ruled it a dropped foul ball. (Upon further review and interviews with fans after the game, the ball was certainly caught cleanly). One pitch later Dalton was frozen by a back door breaking ball and the Monarchs secured the 3-2 win.

To try and better prepare for game two on Saturday, Kyle and Dan, WOW, Oberst, tried some local BBQ together…

I haven’t laughed that hard watching a video in a while, and I stand by my decision to start the broadcast with it. That’s right I’m talking to you, Mr. Ivan, Shoes are Overrated, Traczuk.

There is a lot of body movement for fans throughout a Banana Ball game, so we decided it would be best to warm them up to avoid injuries and we found the perfect guy for the job…

This was one of the coolest scenes I’ve witnessed from the broadcast booth. The whole crowd following this bright young chap in everything he did was pretty surreal.

When it was time for round 2, Christian, Blair Walsh, Dearman, was far more than the Monarchs were ready to face…

That was the fastest strikeout of the side in Banana Ball history! Nasty stuff from the legendary Nanner.

In the bottom half of the 1st Tanner Thomas singled, and then it was time for a surprise special guest…

Jonny, Hacksaw, Gomes, was a blast to have around all weekend, especially at Dave and Busters on Thursday night! He would bounce out to third, advancing Tanner to second where Dan Oberst would send him home easily with a booming walk-off single to left center.

Both teams would trade scoreless 2nd innings, but the Monarchs snagged one run in the top of the 3rd. The Nanners punched right back with two runs of their own on a Dalton, Sean Murphy Who?, Mauldin, hit by pitch, a Jacob Teston RBI sprint, a Bill LeRoy hit by pitch, and then a Tanner Thomas RBI sprint.

Emmanuel, Hope You Like Speed, Rosario, came in touching 95mph with his sinker and surprisingly Gaby, Para Mí Tio, Guerrero, was ready for the gas as he ripped a laser beam of a home run to left. The Bananas were shut down in the bottom half of the frame making it a 2-1 game.

David, Wild Thang, Moore, came in for the 5th and the talented lefty unfortunately just could not find the zone. Luckily for him though, the Bananas have best sprint defense on either side of the Mississippi…

The Bananas would actually do it again for the next out of the inning, but four runs in total would come in on five sprints and two hits, making it mighty tough for the Nanners to avoid dropping the inning to the Monarchs.

Singles from Breland and Christopher, Checkout that Tour Batting Average, Vasquez, brought Jacob Teston to the plate with one out. But then Eric Byrnes decided it would be best to pinch hit himself from the 3rd base coaches box. Here’s officially where the story gets too crazy for Hollywood.

With two strikes on him Byrnes singles in Almadova with a line drive to left, so the Bananas fearless leader gets redemption for his strikeout at the end of the game in Rickwood Field. Then Bill LeRoy steps up to the dish with bad intentions…

Bill had one home run in four years as a collegiate Banana. As I mentioned on the call there, this was his second of the 14-game Tour. Unreal! Also checkout this incredible moment where Byrnes finally puts his captain down and right there to celebrate with Bill is his head coach for the last four summers…

 

Legendary stuff!

The Monarchs would hold the door there, so the 5th inning ended 4-4 with nobody netting a point.

In the 6th Kansas City pushed a run across and won the inning 1-0 to tie the game at 2 points each.

Lucas, Charlie, Kelley, got the two batters he faced to groundout and then Bill Lee came in to get a fly out as the two southpaws combined powers for a 1-2-3 top of the 7th.

With two outs in the bottom half, Bill LeRoy worked a two-base sprint and Tanner Thomas snagged an infield single. Up came Jonny Gomes, 2-3 on the night, a 2015 World Series champion in Kansas City, with a chance to walk it off. Of course, Jonny works the count full, and he takes a ball low and outside to bring in none other than Mr. LeRoy to win the game and put the 2022 Banana Ball World Tour to bed. What a magical way to end it…

Some real quick cleanup for me on what I’ve missed from the weekend:

How about the first ever full team 3-2-2 dance!

And how could we forget the last Hey Baby of the Tour, on the party plaza outside the front gate…

Oh man and it’s always worth watching our color commentator for Bill’s home run, Malachi Mitchell dancing and the fellas backing him up…

By the way, Malachi’s infield single made him 3-3 on the Tour, with 2 steals of 1st and a sprint. Six plate appearances, six times on base. What more could you possibly want?!

And last but CERTAINLY NOT least here, is almost definitely my favorite dance from Vincent, Laquifa, Chapman, as he slayed the drag queen drop…

Mesmorizing stuff. I nearly lost my mind when I saw him practice it for the first time. What a delight.

And the true last but not least honorable mention here, is a shoutout to Eric, Honorary Man-Nana, Stonestreet, for getting weird with us pregame and then spending the 3rd and half the 4th inning with Kyle and I in the booth. Just a 10/10 guy and it was pretty special seeing how much joy he got out of seeing the boys do their thing on the field.

And that my dear friends is the end of the 2022 Banana Ball World Tour. What an insanely amazing ride it was.

As far as the Tour for next year, I only have two destinations that I can confirm at this time. Savannah, obviously, and Kansas City, as our fearless yellow-tux’d owner Jesse, I’ll Dance Next Year in KC, Cole, announced to the sold out crowd on Saturday night that we were for sure coming back. So, breaking news if you weren’t watching the stream!

Thank you so much for being the best fans on the face of this earth! Seeing sold out crowds in seven different cities was mind blowing, and even crazier for me was how bonkers the broadcast viewership was by the end of it all.

The next event on our docket is Banana Fest on May 24th which will be our professional Bananas taking on the college guys in Banana Ball. All of the 2021 CPL Champions will get their rings, and it will be a pretty special way for the pro season to pass the baton over to the CPL season for the summer. We’ll be streaming it for free on the YouTube! Until then, I’ll see you LATERRRRRRRERRRRRR!