Former Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon made his last MLB appearance in 2016. On Friday, he took the mound once again to take part in baseball’s latest viral sensation.
The 41-year-old former Red Sox closer took the mound for the Savannah Bananas in their game against the Savannah Party Animals. It was all a part of the 2022 Banana Ball Summer Series.
Papelbon came to the mound with his 2007 World Series trophy, which sat behind the pitcher’s mound during his half inning. The former Red Sox closer also rocked a yellow kilt as he threw the ball. He also wore number 27 instead of his usual number 58.
Despite it being six years since his last major league appearance, the former Red Sox closer has not officially retired. And according to the man himself, he has no plans to formally retire.
“I’m never going to retire. It’s never going to happen,” Papelbon said back in January. “I don’t care if I’m on my death bed like Ted Williams thinking he can hit at 90. I’m just never retiring. That’s just the fact and how it’s going.”
The controversial former Red Sox closer is the latest name to join the viral Bananas sensation. The team has gone viral for its wild antiques and unique rules. One such rule states that if a fan catches a foul ball, the batter is ruled out.
The Bananas play their baseball in the Coastal Plains League. However, the team will soon leave the league in an effort to better grow their Banana Ball brand.
“The Coastal Plain League gave us an opportunity,” team owner Jesse Cole said. “It’s been a great journey and a ton of fun. But as we continued to watch our fans and listen to our fans and saw the amazing response to Banana Ball, it became a no-brainer.”