It’s no secret that baseball, once America’s favorite past time, has declined in popularity. Is it because we changed, or a better sports product came to the field? It is probably both. The pace of our lives has picked up since earlier in the century and football and basketball came into their own.
The answer to baseball’s dilemma could be found in a team that is coming to Utah next year to play a series.
The Savannah Bananas are a minor league team from Savannah Georgia who play by their own rules, literally. They have created banana ball, and it is loads of fun to watch. Here are three rules baseball could adopt that would get me watching again.
Two Hour Time Limit: There is a clock and when it hits two hours, the game is over, no matter what inning it is. After one hour and 50 minutes, the inning being played is the last. I don’t want to watch anything longer than a couple hours and I like knowing when it will be over.
No Walks: If four balls are thrown, the batter takes off for first. The other team's nine players have to all touch the ball before they can try and tag the runner. The guy may end up with one base or even a in the park home run. Suddenly, a walk is exciting. This is genius.
Fans Can Catch a Foul Ball: If the ball goes into the stands and a fan catches it, it’s an out. Helps the home team and engages the fans. Also, it’s just freaking funny.
There are many other great rules. Since they began playing banana ball in Savannah, every game is sold out with a waiting list. They may be on to something. When they come to Smith Ballpark on Friday and Saturday, August 30th and 31st, you may want to get a ticket. That's if they are not already sold out.
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Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll