Oakland Ballers

The A's are abandoning Oakland but the B's are coming to town. The Oakland Ballers -- the Oakland B's for short -- are set to join the independent Frontier League as its newest franchise in 2024, the new team announced Tuesday morning. Team founders Paul Freedman and Bryan Carmel have worked closely with the Oakland fans behind the "Sell The Team" movement to build the next generation of Oakland baseball.

"Unlike the A's, the B's vows to never leave The Town," the B's wrote in a statement. "The Oakland B's will be for Oakland, by Oakland, and forever in Oakland. The Oakland B's believe that sports teams should serve their communities—not the other way around."

The franchise will officially be announced Tuesday morning at a press conference featuring Freedman, Carmel, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, and Oakland City Council President Nikki Bas, among others. The Ballers have raised approximately $2 million in seed money and say anyone can become a part owner by contributing to the team's fundraising push. 

Former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu will run baseball operations and former big leaguer Micah Franklin will serve as the team's first manager. Longtime big league pitcher Ray King will be the pitching coach. The B's will play at Laney College Baseball Stadium about six miles northwest of RingCentral Coliseum. The team will help fund operations to expand seating.

The B's will be the 11th active team in the Pioneer League and the league's first West Coast team. The Pioneer League currently fields teams in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. The league was founded in 1939 and affiliated with major league franchises until 2020, when it lost affiliation as part of MLB's minor league takeover and contraction.

As for the Athletics, the wheels are in motion to relocate to Las Vegas for the 2028 season. There are still significant hurdles to clear, however, plus it's unclear where the A's will play from 2025-27, after their lease at RingCentral Coliseum expires and before their new stadium in Las Vegas is built.