How do the Savannah Bananas draw sold-out crowds? Five fun facts about the team

The presentation of the Banana baby takes place before the start of a game.
The presentation of the Banana baby takes place before the start of a game between the Savannah Bananas and the Kansas City Monarchs at Legends Field in Kansas City on May 6.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Savannah Bananas’ strange version of baseball is limited to barnstorming tours in the spring. During the regular season, when they play by traditional rules, the collegiate summer league team uses quirky fan contests, sing-alongs and other stunts to transform games into a three-ring circus.

What’s in a name: The nickname “Bananas” emerged from a fan contest — only one person actually suggested it, but ownership immediately saw the possibilities. The mascot is called “Split” and “Princess Potassia” sings in a bright yellow ballgown. A dance squad comprised of grandmothers is known as the “Banana Nanas.”

Fashion statement: The uniforms are yellow and owner Jesse Cole wears an equally vivid tuxedo to the stadium. Players don yellow-plaid kilts for some games.

Dance fever: The team actually works at this in practice. During games — sometimes between pitches — players break into choreographed dance routines, some quick, others elaborate. Michael Jackson and Britney Spears are listed as inspirations.


Walk the walk: Each at-bat has the Bananas’ flair for entertainment as hitters dance their way to home plate. Sometimes a pep band escorts them or a caddie carries their bat. Sometimes they grab a microphone and introduce themselves over the public-address system.

Human touch: Players hand out programs before games, join conga lines in the stands and charge into the crowd to give high-fives after scoring.