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2022 Sports, Large Newsroom finalist

Meet the Savannah Bananas, who’ve captivated fans and MLB. ‘We exist to make baseball fun’

About the Project

Major League Baseball has grappled with how to alter rules of its game in order to attract more fans, especially those who are young and diverse. David Wharton set out to explain why change is so hard to accomplish when he learned about the Savannah Bananas, a collegiate summer league team that threw out every boring baseball rule during exhibition games in an attempt to truly entertain fans. He focused on telling the story of the Savannah Bananas and Banana Ball, introducing readers to a quirky owner who drew inspiration from Walt Disney and P.T. Barnum, a team that has embraced over-the-top fan engagement and the only third base coach who also serves as a choreographer in professional baseball.

Our video, photo and design teams all were inspired by the opportunity to capture this unique team and its innovative spirit, using every tool in our arsenal to take readers along for an exhibition game against the Kansas City Monarchs.

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