Savannah Bananas 2023 World Tour: Schedule, Tickets, Venue & About The Famous Team

At Grayson Stadium, the Savannah Bananas baseball club plays its home debut game on Saturday, February 25. A second home game is set for March 2. The franchise has entered a new chapter with this season. The Bananas are now a full-time barnstorming club that plays “banana ball,” a novel style of baseball developed by team owner Jesse Cole that places a focus on entertainment and a brisk tempo of play. Its roster is made up entirely of professionals.

Like they did for the last six years, the Bananas will not have a collegiate summer squad in the Coastal Plain League.

Where are the Bananas playing?

The Bananas, who refer to themselves as a “World Renowned Baseball Circus,” will play games in 33 places in 2023, including more than 30 at Grayson Stadium. On February 17, the team’s season got underway in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Cole anticipates performing in front of more than 500,000 spectators over the course of the next seven months, and because of the high demand for tickets, the Bananas have instituted a lottery system. Cole claims that a number of ballparks have asked for more games, some even for a weeklong series.

Many Bananas games will take place in minor league ballparks and spring training venues with 4,000 seats or more. At the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, where the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros hold their spring training games, the Bananas performed twice in front of 7,700 spectators. In 2024, Cole hopes to compete in Big League Baseball stadiums.

Where did ‘banana ball’ come from?

Cole first played “banana ball” in 2018 in Greenwood, South Carolina, a three-hour trip from Savannah, in covert exhibition games against the collegiate teams Lander and Wofford. The opening game was completed in 99 minutes.

The first open trial was held in Savannah the following year. Cole played a series in Mobile, Alabama in 2021, taking the game on the road for the first time. In nine places, including Savannah, the Bananas played “banana ball” matches the previous year.

What is a ‘banana ball’?

Baseball is played in “banana ball” with nine rule modifications that all attempt to speed up the game. With an unusual scoring system, teams are awarded points for innings won rather than runs scored. Also, there is a two-hour time limit; no inning may begin after that point (1 hour, 50 minutes).

Banana ball regulations also forbid bunting, visiting the mound, and leaving the batter’s box in between pitches. A popular rule among fans entails declaring a hitter ineligible if a ball he fouls off into the audience gets grabbed by a spectator.

In addition to the regulations, “banana ball” includes a long list of antics, such as dancing base coaches and umpires, pitchers on stilts, and batters using fire bats.

A Bananas’ visit is more an event than a game.

With before and postgame festivities that include a pep band, the “Man-Nanas” male cheerleading squad, and a “Nanas” dance team made up of senior-age women, Cole, his staff, and the players want to create a fan experience. The players regularly join in to shake hands and sign autographs under the direction of Cole, who is dressed in a yellow tuxedo.

Between innings, the Bananas put a lot of effort into keeping fans entertained with player dance routines, stunt shows, and the homage to the game’s “banana baby,” which features a newborn dressed in a banana costume.

Who plays for the Bananas?

Six players, including 76-year-old pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, were taken in the Major League Baseball draught earlier in their playing careers and are on the team’s opening-day roster.

Cole said that player remuneration is higher than $1 million.

This season, the Bananas’ guest players will include a number of notable former Major League great. Cole lists World Series champion Jonny Gomes and Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy as regulars. Josh Reddick, who is from Effingham County, as well as Jonathan Papelbon have both previously appeared in Banana.

Cole claimed that several Major League players who have retired “every week” inquire about signing with the Bananas. However, because it is against company policy to reveal appearances in advance, Cole says that “fans never know who will make an appearance.”

Number Name Hometown Position
1 Bill LeRoy Dublin, GA C/3B
⚡️ Malachi Mitchell Gainesville, FL PR/OF
3 Eric Jones Jr. Charlotte, NC C/INF
4 Mat Wolf Joy, OK RHP/INF
5 DR Meadows Vidalia, GA OF/INF
6 Ryan Cox Aliquippa, PA INF
7 Michael Deeb Davie, FL OF/1B
8 Jackson Olson New Milford, CT INF
9 Noah Bridges Benson, NC OF
10 Alex Ziegler Butler, PA EH
11 Matt Malatesta Doylestown, PA RHP
12 Kyle Luigs Richmond Hill, GA RHP
13 Dalton Mauldin Lake City, FL INF
14 Dakota Albritton Ellaville, GA RHP/UTIL
18 Danny Hosley Vienna, VA Everywhere
19 Dan Oberst Long Island, NY 1B
21 Jared Donalson Albany, GA RHP
24 Dakota McFadden Rocky Point, NC UTIL/RHP
25 Christian Dearman Pembroke Pines, FL RHP
37 Bill Lee Burbank, CA LHP
41 Vincent DeRubeis Trumbull, CT UTIL
91 DJ “The Invader” Jacksonville, FL RHP

Savannah Bananas 2023 tour schedule

Date Location
March 2 Savannah, Georgia
March 4-5 Jacksonville, Florida
March 10-11 Savannah, Georgia
March 13 Savannah, Georgia
March 16-18 Sugar Land, Texas
March 24-25 Montgomery, Alabama
March 31 Scottsdale, Arizona
April 1 Peoria, Arizona
April 6-7 Savannah, Georgia
April 13 Savannah, Georgia
April 15 Savannah, Georgia
April 18 Savannah, Georgia
April 21-22 Charleston, West Virginia
April 26 Savannah, Georgia
April 28-29 Tampa Bay, Florida
May 4-6 Kansas City, Kansas
May 11 Savannah, Georgia
May 13 Savannah, Georgia
May 15 Savannah, Georgia
May 19-20 Las Vegas, Nevada
May 26-27 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
May 29 Tulsa, Oklahoma
June 2-3 Nashville, Tennessee
June 8-10 Savannah, Georgia
June 12 Savannah, Georgia
June 15 Savannah, Georgia
June 17 Savannah, Georgia
June 19 Savannah, Georgia
June 23-24 Birmingham, Alabama
June 29-30 Indianapolis, Indiana
July 2-3 Akron, Ohio
July 7-8 Savannah, Georgia
July 11-12 Kannapolis, North Carolina
July 14-15 Durham, North Carolina
July 17 Savannah, Georgia
July 21-23 Cucamonga, California
July 25 San Jose, California
July 27 Fresno, California
July 29 Sacramento, California
August 3 Savannah, Georgia
August 5 Savannah, Georgia
August 9 Trenton, New Jersey
August 11-12 Staten Island, New York
August 14 Hartford, Connecticut
August 16 Brockton, Massachusetts
August 18-19 Portland, Maine
August 25-26 Des Moines, Iowa
August 30 Savannah, Georgia
September 1-2 Savannah, Georgia
September 4 Savannah, Georgia
September 8-9 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
September 14 Syracuse, New York
September 16 Cooperstown, New York

Savannah Bananas tickets 2023

It’s difficult to find tickets to see the self-described “World Renowned Baseball Circus,” since the squad has sold out of all box office tickets. Tickets for the bananas are priced at their face value of $25, taxes and fees included. The team decided to introduce a lottery system in select cities because demand was so great there.

On the Bananas’ website, fans may sign up for the waitlist for more tickets or buy them through secondary marketplaces like TicketSmarter.

Fans are given to all-you-can-eat concession stalls, drinks with the banana logo, and an escape from the advertising world once they enter the stadium. In 2020, Grayson Stadium became the first baseball stadium without ads.