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    Baseball Is Back in Oakand

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    Most people thought that Oakland had lost baseball forever with the Oakland A’s moving out of town at the end of this season. However, this isn’t true! If you don’t know them, let me introduce you to the Oakland Ballers, who will begin playing at Raimondi Park in June 2024. Yes, this June!

    Who Are the Ballers?

    The Oakland Ballers were co-founded by Bryan Carmel and Paul Freedman as the first West Coast franchise of the historic Pioneer Baseball League. The Oakland B’s formed in 2023 with the intent of building a team that honors the legacy of Oakland’s past great players and values, uniting Oaklanders through the power of community sports and the comradery of teams.

    The Ballers will host their first home baseball game on June 4, 2024.


    More Than Baseball

    The adoption of Raimondi Park by the team will provide West Oakland with an infusion of excitement, community spirit, financial benefit, and neighborhood improvements.

    The Ballers community-centered approach of partnering with the City of Oakland is evident in their proposal to rejuvenate Raimondi Park for their home games, creating a safer environment and improved baseball field where all Oaklanders may come and play on “The Field of Dreams.” While the Oakland Ballers intend to use Raimondi Park as their home field, the upgrades and improvements to the Raimondi Baseball Field will benefit the West Oakland community and all of Oakland with an improved park, a space to host community events, use of the screen for community movie nights, playground improvements, and much more.

    Benefits to Other Teams

    The proposed improvements will provide a high-quality and safe field for local baseball teams to play on, including the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) championship baseball team and local Little League teams. Upgraded facilities could serve to entice Little League Baseball to hold State and World Series championships in Oakland.

    Park improvements in this underserved neighborhood contribute to community pride, provide youth with a safe and modernized facility, make Oakland an attractive destination for athletic excellence, and offer the possibility for teams to represent Oakland, in Oakland, on a global stage.

    The Oakland City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, for final passage of a proposal to allow the Oakland Ballers to play their 2024 season at the Raimondi Park in West Oakland. The proposal is a win-win for both parties, as the Ballers organization has committed to upgrading the park with $1.6 million in improvements. So, in addition to the Roots and Soul soccer teams, Oakland remains a thriving sports town.

    Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( and Facebook (

    Out of the Closet and into City Hall
    Published on May 9, 2024