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Introducing the Oakland B’s - Oakland’s new professional baseball team

Baseball field
Joel Dinda
Flickr / Creative Commons
Baseball field

At a press conference Tuesday, the world was introduced to a new minor league baseball team which will call Oakland home. The Oakland Ballers, aka the B’s, are the newest expansion team of the Pioneer League.

Oakland has a long history of professional baseball. Before the A’s moved from Kansas City in 1968, the minor league Oakland Oaks – of the Pacific Coast League — called the East Bay home from 1903 to 1955.

Speakers at the press conference emphasized the relationship between the Oakland community and its sports teams.

Ballers co-founder Bryan Carmel spoke about the narrative that has grown as teams like the Raiders, Warriors, and A’s have left Oakland.

“There’s been a lot of talk that Oakland can’t get it done. That maybe Oakland’s not a pro sports town. Well we’re here to tell you today that we reject that notion full stop. Because you can’t leave town with a baseball legacy that belongs to a community.”

Artist and community advocate Mistah F.A.B. said that as professional teams have left Oakland, it emphasizes the importance of community coming together.

“Unfortunately nowadays, when we look at our city, a lot of things have been depleted. Our resources, our opportunities, our sports teams have left. And we are looking at a team, not just the Oakland B’s. I’m talking about a team – team Oakland”

Mayor Sheng Thao identified all the ways that professional sports in Oakland impacts community beyond the game itself.

“We know that baseball in Oakland is more than just a game. It’s about that social fabric. It’s about making those connections, it’s about a family event, it’s about opportunities for our young kids to see themselves out on the field. It’s about so much more than just baseball.”

The B’s are currently developing their roster for the start of the 2024 season, which will begin in May. Home games will be played at the Laney College baseball field in downtown Oakland.

Pat McMahon is a member of the 2024 KALW Audio Academy, an audio producer, sound artist, and radio enthusiast.