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Ballers to launch first minor league season at historic ballpark in West Oakland

Illustrated drawing of planned ballpark with fencing and lights
Courtesy of the Oakland Ballers
Plans for Oakland Ballers ballpark

Driving by the Coliseum on 880, A’s fans may wince at the banner that still proclaims, “Rooted in Oakland,” even as the team makes plans to move to Las Vegas.

But just a few miles away, the minor league Oakland Ballers are doing the opposite, rooting deep within the fabric of the city—both its geography and its history.

The Ballers—the B’s—are the newest team in the independent Pioneer Baseball League. They were created by A’s fans and community leaders as a direct response to the major league team’s departure.

Today, the B’s announced that they will make Raimondi Park in West Oakland their home ballpark. The team has committed to raise more than one-and-a-half million dollars in private investment to upgrade the stadium. The improvements are intended not only for their own season of 48 home games, but also as a venue for youth baseball and softball in the community.

The Ballers are building on the ballpark’s history beginning in the nineteenth century, when it was one of the first city parks. It was a home for a team of African American shipyard union workers in the 1940s and a springboard for many of the area’s baseball greats in the 1960s.

The B’s expect the stadium to be ready for their first home game on June 4, when they will play another new expansion team in the Pioneer League, the Yolo High Wheelers.

Sheryl Kaskowitz is a fellow in KALW's Audio Academy. Her beat is public arts and culture.