Written by Biko Skalla:
What a week in Bananaland! Monday night the Florence Y’alls came to town and put on a heck of a show, Wednesday was the release of Jesse’s third book, and the Bananas and Party Animals took over Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday night! Let’s kick things off here with the Y’alls, who began a run of 13 straight days with games (10 of them on the road) when they traveled 10 hours south to become the fourth ever team to play the Bananas in a Challenger Game. The fun started early as Red Sox 2017 second-round draft pick Cole Brannen singled to lead the game off but did not get to hangout on the basepaths for long…
Mr. Electric Plays Peak-a-Boo
I guarantee nobody ever attempted a pickoff move like that during Cole’s time in Minor League Baseball.
Brian Fuentes Gets Tricky
Just two batters into the bottom of the first inning the Y’alls showed they were fully bought into the Banana Ball experience…
This is right up there with Dylan Porter’s behind-the-back snag and DR Meadow’s first backflip catch as one of the most surprising trick plays in Banana Ball history. We got a mic on Brian in the bottom of the 7th inning and he was an absolute delight to talk to. I don’t think this was the last time we’ll see him playing Banana Ball.
We Finally Get Proof of Kyle and Bill’s Telepathic Skills
You’ve gotta hear it to believe it…
The broadcast boys are on a roll as of late with their predictions!
The Bananas Are No Joke in the Field
How about the double plays in chronological order being:
Good luck getting those four double plays again in any game ever, let alone Banana Ball.
David Heilbrunn made Banana Ball history as the first ever Challenger player to attempt a bunt in Banana Ball and only the third player all-time to do so! He joins Bill LeRoy who did it back in 2020 in the first Banana Ball game ever played in front of fans and Landry Mead who did it in Banana Fest last summer. Landry is still the only player too attempt to lay down a bunt without knowing he would be ejected for it…
The Bananas took down the Y’alls 5-1 with walk-offs from Deeb, Olson, Hosley, Meadows, and LeRoy powering the offense while Christian Dearman tossed 5.2 scoreless innings to earn the win.
Banana Ball: The Unbelievably True Story of the Savannah Bananas
Jesse cannot and will not stop writing books and boy am I thankful for that fact. This time he had the help of 11-time New York Times Best Selling author, Don Yaeger, who was the perfect partner for this project. I’m nearly all the way through Banana Ball and it’s been a really fun read (and no I’m not just saying that because the author signs my paychecks). I’d like to think I know as much about Jesse and the creation of the Bananas as anyone outside of his immediate family, but this book still fills in loads of gaps of information that I had not yet squeezed out of him. My only complaint is it took The Man in the Yellow Tux 154 pages to mention his world renowned Broadcast Entertainer.
What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas
The Bananas social media accounts went dark in Sin City but the Party Animals were ready to pickup the slack!
Unfortunately for the Animals it was the Bananas partying on Friday night as they had help from the Vegas faithful…
Reece Hampton Fouls Out to Fans TWICE in One Game
What makes this first ever occurrence in Banana Ball even wilder is Reece only swung the bat three other times in the game. In the fourth inning he missed a Donnie splitter and then doubled on the next pitch and in the eighth he took Bill Lee to the Land of Good and Plenty…
Even with being the first player to ever foul out to fans twice in the same game, Reece going 2-4 on the night allowed him to overtake Bryson Bloomer for the tour lead in batting average at .392 (Bloomer is at .388).
With some help from the fans and excellent work on the mound from Jared Donalson, the Bananas offense pounced. DR double and EJ single won the first inning and then we had a mic on Garett Delano in the 2nd when this happened…
Should’ve Thrown the Curveball
Sorry for those who were watching live and got the unedited experience, but similar to the EJ incident in Kansas City it is cool to see how much the guys care about these games. Besides for the one slip up Garett was awesome on the mic and will definitely get a shot at redemption in the near future.
Joe Lytle Takes Stilts to the Pool Area
First off – I KNOW the ball didn’t actually go IN the pool. But we were never going to get closer than that and sometimes you’ve just gotta seize the moment…
It’s insanely impressive that Joe didn’t have his hands together on the bat for a second before he sent this ball 400 or so feet out to right-center. OH and this is the first home run Stilts has ever given up.
A Jackson Olson double and Ryan Cox single won the third and a Cox single and LeRoy double won the 6th which was all the offense the Nanners needed to sneak by with a 4-3 win on Friday night.
The Party Animals Strike Back
The Party Animals won the first six innings on Saturday which is the first time in Banana Ball history a team has done that. They racked up 20 hits, scored 14 runs and only struck out once. It was all Animals from start to finish.
The Flying Hawaiian Makes a Legendary Bananas Debut
Shane Victorino is one of the more widely loved baseball players of the 21st century because of the joy and energy he always brought to the field. Although he hadn’t had a live at-bat in a meaningful game since 2016, he was more than ready to rise to the occasion when Jesse called his name with Malachi Mitchell on third base and two outs in the bottom of the 7th…
Chills city. Josh and I got to hangout with him in the booth for about 30 minutes during the first ever lightning delay in Banana Ball history and that was one of the best half an hours in either of our lives.
What makes this even greater is it was George Kottaras, one of the catchers for MLBPAA in both games and also the man who caught Eric Gagne in Peoria for the Bananas, who lead off the inning with a single. He was pinch run for by Flash who then scored the inning winning run.
Verbal Meme: Dakota McFadden as Spiderman Pointing at Mark Stone as Spiderman
This might be the loudest we’ve ever heard a stadium get. This is a hockey town folks.
The Bananas Try to Figure Out What the Heck Happened in Vegas
What the heck happened in Vegas is the Nanners held on for a thrilling 4-3 win on Friday and then got walloped 7-4 on Saturday.
The Bananas and Party Animals do battle in Oklahoma City on Friday and Saturday night and then in Tulsa on Monday. The Animals are still up four games on the Nanners in the season series and unlike in Nevada, one of the two teams will leave Oklahoma with a state title. Currently the Party Animals have won Texas and the Bananas took Florida. Can’t wait to see what the home state of Tyler Gillum and Mat Wolf has in store for us!