Home News ‘The night we wanted’: Oakland Ballers relish first game at Raimondi Park

‘The night we wanted’: Oakland Ballers relish first game at Raimondi Park


OAKLAND — For all the pomp and circumstance, the Oakland Ballers dropped their inaugural game at Raimondi Park, falling to the Yolo High Wheelers, 9-3, in front of a sold out crowd of more than 4,000 fans. They did, however, win something much more important.

The night.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but it was the night we wanted,” said B’s manager Micah Franklin. “We wanted a special night for Oakland, and I think that’s what we gave them. Obviously, you want to come out and win games, and that’s our goal. We got the first one out of the way.  Everyone was pumped up, a little too hyped up, but it was a fun, amazing night. We all enjoyed every minute.”

Every minute on this historic evening was certainly worth enjoying, and the B’s didn’t need to wait long before experiencing their first signature moment.

In the bottom of the first, Dondrei Hubbard, who already owns the first home run in team history, hit the Ballers’ first home run at Raimondi Park, a two-run shot headed straight for a group of firefighters who watched the game from the top of their truck. Hubbard emphatically flipped his bat before beginning his jog, a display of showmanship that perfectly played to the crowd.

“I felt like something was about to happen there,” Hubbard said with a smile. “I didn’t know I was going to hit a home run, but I felt like I was about to get a good pitch to hit and it just so happened to get out. I’m glad to be a part of history.”

Added Franklin: “That was off the hook. That was such a moment right there. You could see everyone like, ‘Yeah, it’s real. This is it right here.’ We were pumped up.”

Franklin wasn’t surprised by the lively atmosphere, though he did note that he expected the Oakland 68s to set off green and yellow smoke bombs after Hubbard’s home run. His players, by contrast, basked in the spectacle of it all.

“This night surpassed expectations,” Hubbard said. “Amazing crowd, amazing atmosphere. Probably the best atmosphere I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in a lot of baseball.”

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