GALLERY: Ballers Era Begins at West Oakland’s Renovated Raimondi Park

1 min read

The Oakland Ballers played to a sold out crowd on Tuesday evening to officially anoint the renovated, 4,000 seat Raimondi Park.

With the imminent departure of the A’s, the B’s are seeking to “fill the vacuum” for local baseball fans by establishing a new Pioneer League team in Oakland.

They set out just two months ago on the seemingly impossible task of renovating the neglected but historical stadium to be ready for this day. They needed every minute and an army of volunteers to prepare the stadium for fans.

In the end, over 400 community members chipped on to help make this happen.

“This would simply not have been possible without the feedback, guidance, support and work of the West Oakland community, the Prescott community and our neighbors across the Town,” the Ballers provided in a press release. “From picking up trash, to painting, to building our locker rooms—Oakland came together to make this possible.”

Fans responded by selling out the inaugural game and filling the stadium to capacity.

The pre-game festivities included Oakland son “Mistah F.A.B.” who took the ceremonial first swing (and second, and third before finally making contact).

The game got off to an exciting start for fans with Infielder Dondrei Hubbard crushing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.

Fans seemed to pour their energy into every pitch.

“Everyone was having a blast” noted E’ville Eye freelance photojournalist Jordan Potier who provided the included photos of his experience noting the energy behind the drums and repeated “Let’s go Oakland!” chants.

“What we know is that when the community comes together to build something—nothing can stop us. I encourage the people of Oakland to come over to Raimondi Park and check out what we’ve built,” provided co-founder Paul Freedman. “The Ballers are built by Oakland for Oakland and we’re in the first inning of the greatest sports comeback story ever told.”

“We live in a world where people largely do things for themselves, but when we actually give back, roll up our sleeves and choose to be a part of something that’s bigger than ourselves—that’s a much more powerful feeling,” added Ballers co-founder Bryan Carmel. “That’s the ethos of this team. We’re going to keep building alongside the people of Oakland, and we invite the people of Oakland to join us on this journey.”

On the field, The Ballers lost their inaugural home game to the Yolo High Wheelers 9-3. The game was the first in a 6-game series with the Wheelers and the first of a 12 game home stand before departing for Colorado to take on the Owlz.

Tickets for all games can be purchased at tickets.oaklandballers.com.

Feature Image: Oakland Ballers Social Media.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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