Oakland Ballers are Oakland's New Pro Baseball Team
In response to the void created by the departure of the Oakland A's, a group of baseball fans, community leaders, and more have banded together to steal back Oakland's baseball legacy. The Oakland Ballers (aka the B's) is a new professional baseball team launching in Spring 2024.
The B's will join the Pioneer League, an independent baseball league founded in 1939, as its first-ever West Coast franchise. The B's are backed by a diverse ownership group of Bay Area sports fans who believe that the true value of a sports team is its power to bring people together.
The Oakland Ballers are dedicated to delivering a joyful, community-focused experience for Oakland and the entire East Bay. We vow to never leave Town. For Oakland, by Oakland, forever Oakland.
Paul Freedman, co-founder of the Oakland Ballers, says;
"The real value of a sports team is its relationship to its community. Baseball has deep roots in this country and a rich legacy in the East Bay. That could never be owned by one person. That's why, with the Oakland B's, we intend to build a team committed to honoring that legacy and our community. With the Oakland B's, we will bring joy back to the game and give Oaklanders something to be proud of."
Like all sports fans, Paul and I love underdog stories, and what could be a better one than bringing pro baseball back to The Town? We refuse to let the departure of one team be the final chapter in Oakland's baseball legacy. We're coming together to steal baseball back for Oakland."
The Oakland Ballers are committed to staying in Oakland forever. They are working on a plan to play their first season at the Laney College Baseball Field, starting in the Spring of 2024.
Bryan Carmel, co-founder of the Oakland Ballers, says, "We're building the following Bay Area championship team with the people of Oakland and the broader East Bay."
At the team's launch press conference, the team founders, Paul Freedman, and Bryan Carmel, will be joined by Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, US Congressional Candidate for CA-D12 Lateefah Simon, Oakland artist Mistah F.A.B, President of the Oakland 68's Jorge Leon, Don Wakamatsu, EVP of Baseball Operations for the Oakland Ballers, and Micah Franklin, the Oakland Ballers Manager.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao says, "Sports are about the community in Oakland. We ride to the ends of the earth for our teams. That's why I'm excited to celebrate the launch of the Oakland Ballers. Oakland baseball fans proved their love for the game again and again. The Ballers will be ambassadors for the Town and demonstrate our spirit, hustle, and resilience to the world. Let's play ball, Oakland!"
Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunado Bas says, "Oakland worked tirelessly to keep the A's home. Unfortunately, fans' desires were not the driving force in this decision. That's why Oakland needs to build something new that will prioritize the people who make Oakland great. Sports are incredible community builders, and we must continue to foster initiatives like the Oakland Ballers to ensure our city always has a space for joy and fun to give us the fuel we need to move forward."
The Oakland Ballers are driven to reimagine the relationship between sports teams and their fans. That is why the B's have collaborated extensively with the Oakland Sell Movement to reset the standard for the relationship between fans and the teams they support.
"As a proud resident and Congressional candidate for CA-12, I am honored to stand here today to say yes to the Oakland Ballers. Oakland is such a beautiful epicenter for culture and resistance. The incredible fan-led Sell Movement was a truly vibrant outpouring of this spirit. And that resilient spirit continues as we build a team that will, yet again, make Oakland a championship city. We are here to show the world that Oakland can give a wholehearted yes to reimagining our future to building up community-driven institutions that bring us together to collectively shape our home for the better. This is The Town. We know what we're made of, and we're here to show the world, today and always," said Lateefah Simon, candidate for California's 12th Congressional District.
The Bs will join the historic Pioneer Baseball League (PBL), becoming the league's first-ever West Coast franchise. The Pioneer League was founded in 1939 and has teams from Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Utah, and California. The PBL is an independent MLB Partner League with the 12-team league playing a 96-game season from May through mid-September.
Jorge Leon, President of the Oakland 68s, says, "Oakland baseball has been part of our DNA for a long time, and our fanbase is unique and genuine. Many owners have taken the fans for granted and tried to take baseball away from us. Still, this year, we organized a movement that got the attention of an entire nation.
Now, we're here with the Oakland Ballers to take baseball back for our community, fans, and for the Town. We will never let a billionaire dictate the end of professional baseball here in Oakland—a tradition so alive and undervalued. I couldn't be more excited to be part of the effort to support the Oakland Ballers, building on the decades-long and deeply rooted legacy of Oakland as a baseball town. We will continue to have Oakland baseball because Oakland never quits."