Oakland is getting a new minor league baseball team called the Oakland Ballers (or “The B’s”). They just announced they’ll be playing at Raimondi Field in West Oakland, and spiffing the place up with a $1.6 million renovation.

As the city of Oakland and all of East Bay sports fandom processed the betrayal of the Oakland A’s planning to relocate to Las Vegas, a few deep-pocketed fans conceived and launched a minor league team called the Oakland Ballers this past November. (They’re otherwise known as “the Oakland B’s,” as a dig at you-know-who.) They’re a minor league team in something called the Pioneer League, which is not directly affiliated with Major League Baseball, but is considered a “partner league.” The Pioneer League is not new — it’s been around since 1939.


But the Oakland Ballers are new, they start their inaugural season in late spring this year, and KRON4 reports they’ve announced they’ll be playing their home games at West Oakland's historic Raimondi Field. The team also announced they’re pouring $1.6 million into upgrades to the park.

Image: Vincent L. via Yelp

For reference, here’s what Raimondi Field currently looks like. It’s part of West Oakland's larger Raimondi Park, and the field is also used for youth soccer and football.

Image: OaklandBallers.com

And here’s a rendering of what the new Raimondi Field will look like on game nights.

“It’s important to pull back and look at what this park has meant to Oakland,” Ballers co-founder Bryan Carmel told the Chronicle. “Some of the first integrated baseball games in America were played there in the ’40s, and some of the greatest players in the country came out of Raimondi Field.”

An all-Black World War II-era baseball team called the Oakland’s A-26 Boilermakers played there, and players Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and Curt Flood played there in their minor league days.

The $1.6 million in renovations will include removable bleachers, and a video scoreboard that will also be used for community movie nights. The Ballers will play 48 home games a year, but the field will be available to the community for the other 317 nights a year.

Oakland Ballers tickets are on sale now, though they’re currently only available in 12-packs. Single-game tickets will become available as we approach their June 4 Opening Day game against the Yolo High Rangers. (Their season actually starts May 21, but they play a bunch of away games first.) The B’s already have their roster formed, and former Giant J.T. Snow is their first base coach

Related: A’s Negotiating to Stay In Oakland Three More Years, Because They Have Nowhere Else to Play [SFNews]

Image: OaklandBallers.com