Oakland Ballers add World Series talent to their coaching ranks for inaugural season

Former San Francisco Giants first baseman J.T. Snow appears during the team's victory parade on Oct. 29, 2012, following their World Series championship over the Detroit Tigers. Snow, who spent 16 years in the majors, has been named first base and bench coach for the Oakland Ballers in their inaugural season. (Rob Corder/Flickr, CC BY-NC)

The Oakland Ballers are going with two World Series veterans at the corners this season.

Well … in the coaching boxes.

Oakland’s newest professional baseball team said Wednesday it hired former San Francisco Giant J.T. Snow to be its first base and bench coach for its upcoming inaugural season.

The Ballers already signed Aaron Miles, an Antioch native and 2006 World Series winner with the St. Louis Cardinals, to be the their third base coach.

Snow, of course, played in the 2002 World Series with the Giants, with whom he played nine of his 16 Major League seasons.

“I’m thrilled to be able to take on this new role with this new Oakland team,” Snow said in a statement. “I’ve wanted to get back into the game in a coaching role and the opportunity to work with young players and develop them here in the Bay Area was very appealing to me. I’ve been told that the front office wants to put together the best player program in independent baseball and I’m happy to add to their efforts.”

Antioch native Aaron Miles appears in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform on June 17, 2011. A former World Series winner with the St. Louis Cardinals, Miles will coach third base for the Oakland Ballers in their inaugural season. (Bridget Samuels/Flickr, CC BY-BC-ND)

Snow joins Ballers’ manager Micah Franklin’s staff with Miles (also the infield coach), pitching coach Ray King and assistant hitting coach Dondrei Hubbard.

“I’m extremely excited to be bringing in J.T. because of the wealth of experience he carries with him. He is going to be very important to the kind of professional winning culture that we want to build with this Ballers team. I’ve already had some great discussions with him and I’m glad to be able to give him this opportunity to get him back into the dugout,” said Don Wakamatsu, Ballers executive vice president of baseball operations.

Snow grew up in Long Beach, the son or former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Jack Snow.

The younger Snow was regarded as one of the best defensive first basemen of his day, winning six Gold Gloves and amassing a career fielding percentage of .995. He wasn’t bad at the plate either, with a career batting line of .268/.357/.427 with 189 home runs and 877 runs batted in.

Snow was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1992 and was traded in 1993 to the then-California Angels, where he played for four seasons before being traded to the Giants. He also played a season for the Boston Red Sox before retirng. Snow is a member of the Giants’ Wall of Fame.

The Ballers (aka the B’s) will launch their inaugural season May 22, playing in the independent Pioneer League as the league’s first team on the West Coast. Most of the competition plays in Midwestern states like Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Utah.

The B’s will play 48 home games in a 96-game schedule at Laney College, where the stadium on campus will be renovated to hold about 3,000 fans.

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