Top 20 Moments from a Bonkers Banana Ball Journey Through California

Written by Biko Skalla:


The Bananas were red hot going into the first ever Banana Ball games in California but no amount of momentum could have ever made me believe that the Nanners would take all six games in the Golden State. Even crazier is the fact that they won all six games by ONLY ONE POINT. The Bananas went into California down a game to the Party Animals and had not led the season series since they won Opening Night back on February 17th. It had been complete dominance from the Bad Boys of Bananaland until the Nanners came alive with a big June in which they swept Nashville and Birmingham to take Tennessee and Alabama. After splitting Indianapolis at the end of the month the Animals swept Akron to take Ohio at the start of July and looked poised to regain their tour-long superiority. Since then, the Bananas have won nine of the ten games played against their arch-rivals, grabbing North Carolina and California in that stretch.

This article is about how the latter state was painted yellow.

It all started in LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga where the Party Animals actually got off to just about as good a start as you could imagine in the Grape State. After a close pitch didn’t go Zack Phillips’ way that could have ended the first inning, the Animals pounced for five runs and earned the first point ever in California. Then the Nanners won the second inning 2-1, the third inning 2-1, and the fourth inning 1-0, to jump ahead 3-1 in points.

After securing his sixth career Banana Ball inning pitched without allowing an earned run, 13-year MLB veteran Jeremy Guthrie took the mound again to try and make it seven straight. Unfortunately, Bryson Bloomer had other plans…

Bloomer Gives Guthrie an ERA Above 0.00

Now Jeremy’s ERA is an unacceptable 1.29. How the turns table.

The Bloomer bomb would be enough to take fifth and the Party Animals would tie the game in the seventh on a Jake Skole double but then the Nanners would jump back out in front on an eighth-inning walk-off sprint from Noah Bridges.

Danny Hosley tossed a 1-2-3 top of the eighth and retired the first two Animals he faced in the ninth leaving Dalton Cornett standing between the Bananas and a night-one victory in California…

Who do You Think Think You are?! Dalton Cornett is!

LEGENDARY STUFF! Cornett is just such an incredible player. The deeper you dive into the numbers and his story the more there is to love about DC3. For example: That was only the third homer hit off Hosley on the tour. Two of them have been hit by Dalton.

That sent us to SHOWDOWNS!

Our Eighth Trip to Showdown Town on the Tour

I really hope the excitement and importance of a strikeout in Showdowns is understood by the masses. That is one of the most clutch plays that can be made in Banana Ball and Danny Hosley is starting to make a habit of them. All three of his strikeouts in Showdowns on the tour have led to the Bananas winning the game the game in that round.

Bananas Bash in Sixth Game on Tour as the Away Team

Jake Skole took down Dan Oberst nine taters to eight in the pregame home run derby and declared the Party Animals would be the home team for game two in Rancho. The Nanners took full advantage of all the extra plate appearances…

The Bananas led 2-0, the Party Animals tied it up 2-2, then the boys in yellow pulled back ahead 3-2 only for the Animals to tie it at 3-3 with a walk-off single from Joe Lytle to win the 8th. But it was an Eric Jones Jr. ball-four sprint in the 9th that gave the Nanners a lead that would last thanks to a sparkling play by Ryan Cox to end it…

Wild Bottom of the 9th in Game Two

A tour-high 18 hits from the Bananas but the Party Animals still tie the game twice and threaten to win it in the 9th while the Nanners had former MLB players Josh Reddick, George Kottaras, and Brett Tomko play for them plus former Nippon Professional Baseball player Kenshi Sugiya, and the game ends in thrilling fashion with Ryan Cox turning one of the most magnificent double plays we’ve ever seen, even taking the time to whip the ball between his legs for his tour-leading 99th trick play. And all of that to give the Bananas their first lead in the season series against the Party Animals since Opening Night which was over five months ago. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Sometimes the human brain cannot comprehend the beautiful madness of Banana Ball. What an all-timer game two in Cali was.

Oh yeah and Kenshi also blew our minds with quite possibly the smoothest walk-up to the dish in Banana Ball history…

Kenshi Sugiya is What the Fox Says


Bangers only savannahbananas bananaball baseball baseballlife mlb fypシ trending viral reels whatdoesthefoxsay parody karaoke meme

♬ оригинальный звук – 𝖐𝖆𝖘𝖕𝖊𝖗.𝖒𝖚𝖘𝖎𝖈

Throw that one into the, “Biko’s watched it dozens of times on end” folder that is now bursting at the seams. Sugiya is so hypnotizing with that beautiful boogie of his.

Here’s some bonus Kenshi content courtesy of this news station in Japan…

So unsurprising that Reggie stole the show of that story. Although Drew Gillespie and company doing that bizarre 6-2-2 dance made me full blown cackle, so a good job is deserved there too.

It was a one o’clock start for game three in Rancho and after two scoreless innings a DR “The Doctor” Meadows double walked-off the third and then the Carolina Crushers went to work in the fourth and fifth…

D-Mac and EJ try to Hit Balls Back to North Carolina

Please forget that both these home runs traveled north and imagine how cool it would be to hit a ball from one side of the country to the other…

Oh yeah and in between these homers Ryan Cox became the first player to notch 100 trick plays in a season because #BananaBall.

The Glove Magician Hits Triple Digits

What an insane accomplishment! Ryan reached 100 trick plays in his 63rd game of the tour. He was the Bananas starting shortstop for 62 of them and came off the bench once. At the time of Cox’s 100th trick play Dustin Baber was second with 55 trick plays. Nobody else had more than 29. The Glove Magician is in a trick play realm all by himself.

The California leg of the tour continued to be the gift that just kept on giving as an inning after Cox’s 100th trick play and EJ’s inning-tying dingaling, Alex Ziegler decided it was time for some Big Bat history…

Ziggy Does the Impossible


A 4-6-3 double-play would squash the budding rally as the Animals would win the 6th and then use a 2-out, 2-run triple from Tanner “Tinder” Thomas off Dakota “Stilts” Albritton to tie the game a two points apiece in the eighth inning. Then Party Animals head coach Mike “Vava” Vavasis decided it was time to take matters into his own hands…

Vava Goes Yaya to Take the Lead

Boy is it good ole’ fashioned fun to see Mike Vavasis punish baseballs. Heck of a Sunday afternoon for the Party Animals skipper!

Unfortunately for Vava and company, the Nanners would not go quietly…

A Textbook Banana Ball Rally

After three thrilling wins for the Bananas, we all packed up and headed north up to Excite Ballpark in San Jose.

The Party Animals once again made a great first impression as an RBI double from Tanner Thomas won the first inning and an RBI single from Dustin “Derek Ginger” Baber took the second. But then one of the Crown Princes of Bananaland, Bill LeRoy sauntered up to the dish with Coxy aboard in the third…


There is just something so special about the sixth year Banana leaving the ballpark. Here’s to Big Leg-Kick Bill finding another tater or two in 2023!

LeRoy and Hosley Provide Late-Inning Heroics

“Danny Do-It-All” would double in a run to fend off the Party Animals attempt to snag a point in the fifth. Then Hos and Bill would walk-off the seventh and eighth innings with two-baggers to give the Bananas their first lead of the night…

Matt Malatesta would strand the potential game-tying run on second to secure California for the Bananas in stunning fashion. The tour-best advantage over the Party Animals extended to three games.

We loaded everything up again and this time headed southeast to Chukchansi Park in Fresno.

Once again we were in store for a rollercoaster ride of a ballgame. The Nanners jumped ahead when Dan Oberst walked-off the first with a grounder but the Animals bounced back by taking the second and third frames. Michael Deeb walked-off the fourth to even things up and then the pitchers for both sides turned up the heat. Jared Donalson, Zack Phillips, Connor Higgins, and DJ the Invader combined to toss five straight scoreless innings. Bret Helton threw four straight scoreless himself and then the Party Animals passed the ball off to Drew Gillespie for the bottom of the 9th.

The King of Dublin Strikes Again!

Cox, Malachi Mitchell, and LeRoy called game…

Cox and LeRoy are having such similar offensive seasons and have been hitting back-to-back for the majority of the tour so of course they would both use the six-hole to finish off the Bad Boys of Bananaland in Fresno. That’s a tour-best four-game lead now for the Nanners.

The good folks of Bananaland packed everything up again as we set our sights on Sutter Health Ballpark in Sacramento, California’s capital. We had all kinds of surprises up our sleeves for the second-largest ballpark on the tour (to only Victory Field in Indianapolis)…

Hunter Pence Cruises Into Bananaland

I mean come on now…

This was up there with the loudest roar from a crowd we’ve heard on any of the 24 stops we’ve had thus far in 2023. Understandably, the San Francisco Giants faithful have a special place in their hearts for the man who won two World Series in Fog City. A Jake Skole RBI double put the Animals ahead after the first but a Hosley second inning walk-off sac fly would even things up. Then it was time for Hunter and our good buddy Josh Reddick to showoff their dancing abilities…

The Infamous Pence, Meadows, and Reddick Outfield Breaks it Down

Excellent work, men!

A half inning later and Pence found himself lip syncing California Girls while approaching the plate with two outs and the potential inning winning run in scoring position. First you get the legendary walk-up to the dish and then I’ll give you every pitch of the at-bat because it is a battle that needs to be shown in full…

Pence Thrives in Bananaland


Hunter Pence in his California Girl era 🌴🌊😎 #savannahbananas #california #californiagurls #fypシ #bananaball #baseballboys #trending #hunterpence #sfgiants

♬ Original sound – Dadood

The Exterminator Has Another Historic Battle vs a Former Major Leaguer

I need not remind you what Fluke did to Eric Byrnes to win Birmingham for the Party Animals on last year’s tour…

Once again please indulge me as I shout from the mountaintops “LEGENDARY STUFF!” What a big league at-bat! (Fluke would K Byrnes again in Sacramento. Byrnsie did pickup an infield single in Fresno though, so he’s 1-2 on this tour and 2-4 in his Bananas career. He just can’t figure out The Exterminator, to Flukie’s delight).

Oh one more wild Fluke note: he threw the first ever complete game in Banana Ball history because of the power outage. “Cowboy” Kyle Luigs doesn’t get credit for a CG because Mat Wolf came in and gave up a sprint in the top of the seventh before the power went down again.

The first time the power in West Sacramento took a dive we had Noah Bridges in the booth with us which was lucky. Unfortunately, the loss of power of course meant a loss of the lights in Sutter Health Park. On the bright side, that meant Hunter would join Josh and I in the booth too for what would be 48 of the best minutes of both our lives. The game would be called during the top of the seventh inning when the power went down again and showed no signs of a timely revival.

That meant Hunter Pence’s third inning walk-off single was the difference in a 2-1 Bananas win that secured a six-game sweep of California and pushed the Nanners season best lead over the Party Animals to five games.

The Bananas add the Bear Republic to North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, while the Party Animals still control Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio, while they are one win away from claiming Georgia as well.

They can take the Peach State on Thursday night in the second-ever Banana Ball game on national TV. At 7:00 pm ET the Bananas and Party Animals game will be live on ESPN2 to kickoff the seventh edition of “ESPN8: The Ocho.” It will be the first of three straight nights where the Party Animals can take Georgia from the Bananas. The Bad Boys of Bananaland need to bounce back after dropping nine of the last ten games against their arch-rivals.

We’re heading into the home stretch. With only a month and a half left of Banana Ball in 2023, I can promise it will only get weirder and wilder from here. Can’t wait to see you all on ESPN2 on Thursday night, and then again on the Bananas YouTube and ESPN+ for Friday and Saturday night. Dealers choice where you watch those two ballgames. Let’s do it to it my friends!

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