Watch former Giants, A's pitcher Zito make Savannah Bananas debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Bay Area legend Barry Zito was back on the mound this weekend, but not for an MLB team.
The former Giants and Athletics pitcher debuted with the Savannah Bananas on Saturday night, giving the sold-out crowd in Nashville, Tenn., quite the surprise and helping the eccentric baseball squad secure a 4-3 victory over the Party Animals, their arch-rivals.
Zito, 45, spent seven seasons with the A's from 2000 to 2006, where he went on to win the AL Cy Young Award in 2002 and appear in three All-Star Games ('02, '03 and '06).
The left-hander spent seven up-and-down seasons with the Giants from 2007 to 2013 and became a playoff hero in 2012, helping San Francisco win its second World Series title. He returned to Oakland in 2015 for his final season.
Zito surrendered a run in his brief Bananas appearance, but, to be fair, Savannah plays with some interesting rules. The "World Famous Baseball Circus" is just as beloved for entertaining crowds as it is for its baseball skills, and other former Bay Area players like Michael Morse and Eric Byrnes have been known to take part.
— Michael Morse (@MorseBeWithU) May 21, 2023
After his outing, Zito -- well-known for his musical abilities -- took his guitar along with him to coach third base.
— Justin Bradford (@justinbbradford) June 4, 2023
It's unclear if Zito's appearance with the Bananas was a one-time occurrence, however. Saturday's game was just one stop on the Banana Ball World Tour, and it happened to be in Nashville, where Zito lives.
But for any Giants and A's fans in the crowd, Zito's appearance certainly was a welcome surprise.