Savannah Bananas
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Savannah Bananas
Savannah Bananas
SavannahBananas.png
Information
LeagueCoastal Plain League (West)
LocationSavannah, Georgia
BallparkGrayson Stadium
Year founded2016
League championships(1) 2016
ColorsBlue, Green, Yellow
MascotSplit
OwnershipFans First Entertainment (Jesse & Emily Cole)
CoachTyler Gillum
Websitewww.thesavannahbananas.com

The Savannah Bananas are a baseball team in the Coastal Plain League that began play in 2016. The team sold out every game of the 2017-2019 seasons and are currently on an 88-game sellout streak. The team has been featured on MSNBC, ESPN, CNN, and Sports Illustrated for their unique promotions including dancing players, a break-dancing first base coach, and playing a game in kilts. They were named the league's organization of the year in both 2016 and 2017. The team is based in Savannah, Georgia. The Bananas play their home games at Grayson Stadium.

History

Following the departure of the South Atlantic League's Savannah Sand Gnats for Columbia, South Carolina, on September 22, 2015, the Coastal Plain League announced Savannah as its newest team to begin play for 2016. On February 25, following a name-the-team contest, the Bananas name, logo and colors were officially revealed by the team.[2][3]

The Bananas play in the CPL South Division with the Florence Red Wolves, Lexington County Blowfish, and Macon Bacon.

The Bananas have gained local and national recognition for ticket sales and marketing. The team sold out 17 of 22 games played at Grayson Stadium in their first season and are currently on a 60-game sell out streak, dating back to 2016. Their innovative marketing includes the use of videos including "Bananas are Back," "Tytanic," and "Dancing with Darius."[1]

The 2016 Bananas ended their inaugural season as the 1st seed in the CPL West Division, earning home-field advantage for the first two games of the playoffs. In game one, the Bananas beat the Asheboro Copperheads 3-2 with the first walk-off in franchise history. The Bananas then defeated the Forest City Owls 2-0 to win the CPL West Division championship and advance to the Petitt Cup Championship. " Game one of the championship was played at Grayson Stadium, where the Bananas defeated the Peninsula Pilots 8-4. The team traveled to Hampton, Virginia where the Pilots' 4-3 win in game two forced an all-or-nothing game three. The Bananas took home the Petitt Cup after a 9-7 win in game three.[2]

The Bananas continued to generate national attention during their 2017 season with record breaking attendance, breaking their own CPL single season attendance record after only 22 regular season games.[3] In addition, in game entertainment provided by dancer-turned coach Darius Johnson and other promotions were also subject to national coverage.[4]

The Bananas again qualified for the CPL playoffs in their second season, finishing second in the West Division. They defeated the High Point-Thomasville HiToms 9-3 in a first round single elimination game, but lost to their fellow Fans First team, the Gastonia Grizzlies, 0-2 in the division championship.

The Bananas continued their success on the field and at the gates in 2018, finishing with the best regular season record in the CPL at 37-13 and selling out every home game with over a month to go in the regular season. They defeated the Macon Bacon 15-4 in the first round of the Coastal Plain League playoffs, winning the South Division. They advanced to face the High Point-Thomasville HiToms in the Southwest Region championship semifinal, falling 0-3 in another single elimination game.

The 2018 season continued the phenomenon of wild promotions as the Bananas were the first ever team to play an entire game in kilts. The Bananas debuted their kilts at their "St. Patrick's Day in July" game, inspired by the massive celebration held in Savannah on the actual holiday. The team walked off in the ninth inning for a 4-3 win against the rival Macon Bacon.

Attendance

The Bananas recorded over 91,000 total fans at 25 home games in 2016. They broke the CPL's single season attendance record, previously held by the Peninsula Pilots, after only 22 regular season games.

Out of 24 regular season home games, there were 17 sellouts and 2 rain outs. One of three playoff games also sold out.

The team also ranked second in average attendance (3,659 fans per game) among 160 collegiate summer teams across the country.[5]

In 2017, they welcomed 108,498 fans, once again breaking the league's attendance record. They also sold out all regular season games, with an average of 4,173 fans each night.

2018 continued the streak of sold out games, with the entire season being sold out with over a month remaining in the regular season. They brought a total of 118,262 fans to Grayson Stadium, shattering their own previously set league records as well as ranking 2nd in the country in attendance for summer collegiate teams.

In 2019, the team had a total of 117,729 fans. For the fourth year in a row, they led the Coastal Plain League in attendance.

References

  1. ^ "Bananas Videos - The Savannah Bananas". thesavannahbananas.com. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Bananas Win CPL Championship - The Savannah Bananas". thesavannahbananas.com. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Savannah Bananas break own league attendance record in split with Blowfish". savannahnow.com. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "VIDEO: Savannah Bananas' first base coach's dance moves land him on ESPN, CNN". savannahnow.com. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Reichard, Kevin (2016-08-15). "2016 Summer Collegiate Attendance by Average". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved .

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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