Lights! Cameras! Bananas!
The focus of the national media has become increasingly bright for Savannah Bananas, announcing that the baseball team will appear on television and on subscription streaming services.
ESPN has announced on Twitter and Facebook that “Bananaland” will hit ESPN + this summer. Although details were scarce, the documentary-style series will feature six 30-minute episodes of “Banana Ball,” an unorthodox brand of the sport played in Savannah this spring and a crowd in six other cities in the Southeast.
Starting this week, on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” show, “Banana Ball” is presented as a “Banana Ball” episode in a new episode that will premiere on Tuesday at 10:00 p.m.
Book now !:Savannah Bananas return to baseball with preseason sold out, with league games and a new book
Difficult things:Savannah Bananas throws Mat Wolf between her legs, with or without pants, to strike
“It’s a great story. It’s a fun story to tell,” Mary Carillo told reporters in Paris on Monday morning, where she is covering the French Open tennis tournament.
“I don’t think Parisians have ever heard of Savannah Bananas, but I intend to tell you all about it,” he said.
More and more people are hearing about Banana Ball, a spin-off of a traditional group of college players from the Coastal Plain League, which is strictly a summer league starting at Grayson Stadium at the end of the month.
In both cases, the circus atmosphere of the music, dance, and comedy parts is not before, during, and even after the games. The Savannah Bananas Premier Team is a professional travel team with very different rules for speeding up the game and creating more dramatic situations with Party Animals who play in the baseball version.
Bananas – which appears in the national press, television and online media – has 2.5 million followers on TikTok, which caught Carillo’s attention.
Carillo was also impressed every night by fans of several generations who enjoyed the game and the show when he and the HBO film crew visited Grayson Stadium.
“It’s not your grandfather’s baseball. It’s not your father’s baseball,” Carillo said. “Nowadays, I don’t think there are a lot of things that little kids and grandparents can touch, that are open to anyone, that there is something for everyone.
“Baseball is actually pretty good. We watched a couple of games. It was a good workout and a good blow. Baseball is playing.”
David Beilinson is the producer and director of “Bananaland.” RUMUR Inc. makes films with partners Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley in an independent production studio.
He was assigned last July to watch Savannah’s “crazy baseball game” as Bananas were on their way to winning the 2021 Coastal Plain League title, but it wasn’t an ordinary success story.
“There’s no clue what the team was like,” Beilinson said in a recent interview in Savannah. “He saw pictures of this guy wearing a yellow suit and a bunch of players dancing and he said ‘OK, it’s interesting.’ And I got to Grayson Stadium and I saw what happened.
Beilinson created a 7-minute documentary about Bananas, which was shown on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” The boy in the yellow suit was the owner of the Jesse Cole team, which started Bananas in 2016 with his wife Emily in Savannah.
“He got a lot of attention online,” Beilinson said. “I think Bananas did a lot of showing up in front of a larger audience. And I enjoyed working with Jesse (Cole). I told him, you know there’s something bigger here and that’s the way you run your operation. “I felt like there was a bigger story than a five – minute piece on TV. And so we completed this pitch to make a series of longer shapes.”
A Savannah Story:Alex Pierce of Savannah has a Banana Story from a Concessionaire pitcher
Out of this world:Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee 75-year-old former All-Star pitcher is “perfect” for Bananas
First report:How Bill Lee, 75, is working for the Savannah Bananas travel team
Beilinson and his crew of 15 to 17 people followed the team almost daily from the start of rehearsals in late February and early May in Kansas City. The action was picked up in front of the crowd and behind the scenes, as well as interviews for more than 100 hours of footage.
“I think it’s very rare today that with social media and the proliferation of content and the ability to see everything, you can still find something completely unique that other people in the United States haven’t seen,” Beilinson said. “And I think that’s going down here.”
Nathan Dominitz is the sports content editor for Savannah Morning News and savannahnow.com. Email [email protected] Twitter: @NathanDominitz