Got to love YouTube. Through this wonderful social media channel I was introduced to the topic of Todays Post.
Introducing the show Playing for Peanuts. The show was a 10-episode mini documentary about the South Coast League of independent baseball. It mostly focused on the entry known as the South Georgia Peanuts. This motley crew was led by former big league player Wally Backman.
The shows 10 episodes focused on the trials of independent league ball. Problems ranging from bad umpires to lack of clubhouses and mediocre pay. Though a lot of good things happen to the Peanuts. They play exceptional baseball and sit atop of the league standings for all 10 episodes. The roster featured a couple former big league players in Curtis Goodwin, Desi Wilson and Mike Caruso. Sad to say now of the former players made it to the majors, but a few did get picked up by professional teams.
I must admit this show is filled with drama. The league is criticized for poor facilities awful umpiring and poor handling of drug testing. Fans fail to show up for games as the league tries to make its mark on independent baseball.
Backman takes a lot of heat for standing up for his players against the leagues short comings. It gives the show a bit of the scripted feel, but Backman does care for his players. Not to mention he gives a rousing pregame speech in an extra episode. Pg13 on it though lots of cussing. Not to mention it does show just how hard it is to start up a league. Though it was just so comically bad how much this league failed.
Though the Peanuts were good sports the entire time. They had a lot of fun on the field and played pranks and tried to stay out of trouble off the field. It made the show very lite in tone despite some serious issues going on.
I highly recommend checking out this show. It’s fun, but serious at the same time. It really appeals to casual and serious fans. You can enjoy the good on field play and the silly off the field antics. It also serves as a historical marker as the league only lasted 1 season. Read more about it here. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a-look-back-on-the-south-coast-league-where-baseball-went-to-die.
Watch the first episode here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaAtGTJ4Vgk
By Steve Samek