August 9, 1960

Getting back to work after a day off, the Raider coaches made some changes on the offensive line. Chris Plain, who had been at left tackle was now on the right side, replaced by Ron Sabal, who had been playing left guard. Taking Sabal’s place was Don Manoukian, who was returning from an injury. Wayne Hawkins was now on the right side with Joe Barbee, a defensive lineman moving to the other side of the ball, backing up. Jim Otto was still at center.

Hayward Daily Review

August 8, 1960

The players had a day off today, but that gave head coach Eddie Erdelatz more time to talk with the press. His first order of business was to complain about a ruling from the league office. Back in mid-July, the AFL made an arrangement whereby each team would have the exclusive negotiating rights to rookies cut from particular NFL teams. In the Raiders’ case, they had the rights to all cuts from the San Francisco 49ers and half the cuts from the Washington Redskins. However, Erdelatz had just learned that this excluded players who had been drafted by AFL teams. Those teams still had negotiating rights to their draftees, regardless of which NFL team had let them go.

The Raider coach was deeply unhappy about the news. “It is one of the biggest blows we’ve had,” he said, “And means that we’ll have to go along pretty much with what we have.” The team was now limited to pursuing a reported eight unnamed ex-49ers.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
Sam Mateo Times

August 6, 1960

Raider quarterback hopeful Tom Flores continued to make a strong push for the starting job in a morning scrimmage today. The former Pacific Tiger dispelled doubts about his once-injured throwing shoulder by hitting on a couple of long touchdowns, one each to Eddie Macon, who was trying his hand on offense, and to Tony Teresa, who made a tough catch in traffic.

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz was impressed. “The team gets better with each workout and is still on the upgrade,” he said. “Flores is calling the plays well and knows what to do in most situations.”

Aside from the scrimmage, the team put an emphasis on the kicking game. Linebacker Larry Barnes continued to improve as a placekicker, connecting on an extra point and a 32 yard field goal.

After practice, Erdelatz and his staff hopped aboard a plane bound for Los Angeles, where they would scout the Chargers in advance of their preseason contest next weekend in Sacramento.

Oakland Tribune

August 5, 1960

Raider quarterbacks Tom Flores and Paul Larson were under heightened pressure in practice today as the coaching staff had the defense work on a set of “red dogging” (linebacker blitz) drills. Both passers found their effectiveness seriously diminished under the heavy rush and clearly needed more work in this area.

Two players who didn’t take part in the now once-daily drills were defensive back Alex Bravo and receiver Charlie Hardy, both of whom were held out because of muscle pulls. The team expected them to be back to full health within a couple of days.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

August 4, 1960

The Raider coaching staff continued to add to the offensive playbook in preparation for the Chargers game in Sacramento. As of today, the team had 65 plays installed: 20 running and 45 passing.

There was another new face at the day’s workout, the last of the two-a-day sessions. Defensive end Charley Powell, who had injured his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp, was finally back on the field working out with his teammates. Head coach Eddie Erdelatz commented that Powell was looking “a lot better” and was “beginning to catch on to what we are doing.”

Meanwhile, ABC television, the broadcast network of the AFL, announced that four of the Raiders’ road games would be carried on their local affiliate, KGO: September 25 in Houston, October 2 in Denver, October 9 in Dallas, and November 27 in Los Angeles.

And for those fans who were planning to see home games in person, Greyhound Bus Lines announced plans to sell game tickets in their northern California depots and offer special charter buses for transportation to and from games.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

August 3, 1960

The Raiders returned to two-a-day practices on Wednesday with coach Erdelatz adding to both the offensive and defensive playbooks to expand the team’s repertoire. However, three players would practice with the team no more.

Among the cuts were guard Lou Byrd, tackle Fred Fehn who had missed most of camp with an injury, and one of yesterday’s pickups, fullback Jim Varnado, who was badly out of shape and apparently not likely to get into shape anytime soon. Also leaving camp was heretofore unmentioned guard Gil Ane, Hawaii native, and brother of former Detroit Lions Pro Bowl guard Charlie Ane, who was currently in camp with the expansion Cowboys in the NFL. Ane’s departure from camp was expected to be temporary as he was heading home to Oregon to care for a sick daughter.

Off the field, television dates were announced. The Raiders would appear on the local ABC affiliate, KGO, channel 7, four times throughout the year: September 25 at Houston, October 2 at Denver, October 9 at Dallas, and November 27 at Los Angeles.

Oakland Tribune

August 2, 1960

The team had a day off following the game, but head coach Eddie Erdelatz took that time to review the films, and based on what he saw, cut five players the following morning: halfbacks Alex Gardner and Ray Peterson, tackle Willie Boykin, guard Bob Harrison, and defensive back Bob Fails. He then added one back in the person of 6’1″, 185-pound halfback John Harris, formerly of Santa Monica Junior College. Harris combined speed and strength as a runner for the Corsairs and made first team All-Metro Conference in 1957 and later spent a season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Most recently, he had been in Chargers camp, but had been waived, giving the Raiders a chance to pick him up. Also returning to the team was tackle Fred Fehn, who had spent the past couple of weeks nursing a leg injury. This put the head count at 48, five over the limit of the first mandatory cut on August 22.

Erdelatz said he found no surprises in the movies. “We’ll try and correct the mistakes made in that game before going on to the new stuff,” he said. “They performed well considering everything and we’re expecting considerable improvement by the time we play New York.” To that end, he held a surprise 90-minute scrimmage that focused on improving both the running and the passing game.

Afterward, even more changes were made. Guard Charlie Kaaihue, a potential first-teamer who had been temporarily sidelined because of injury, was cut for what was reported as “disciplinary reasons.” The team also announced the signing of yet two more players, fullback Jim Varnado, and end Charles Moore. Additionally, Erdelatz made an offensive line adjustment, moving Ron Sabal from right guard to right tackle, in place of Don Churchwell. Don Manoukian moved in to take Sabal’s spot at guard. And, finally, Varnado’s signing meant a move for Brad Myers from fullback to halfback.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

July 31, 1960

Seven months, almost to the day, following the awarding of a franchise to Oakland, the Raiders assembled to play their first game, against the Dallas Texans at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

The day dawned chilly and windy, with a drizzling rain that fell all morning. As game time approached, the rain stopped and the temperature climbed into the mid-60s, but the weather was still raw for the Bay Area in July, and as the stands filled, it was clear the team was not going to reach their attendance goals. By the 1:30pm kickoff, just 12,000 or so showed up to watch (later corrected to 10,882).

Read more “July 31, 1960”

July 30, 1960

The Texans got into town at 2pm and it looked like the game was really going to happen. There was a modest panic earlier in the week when it looked as if the Raiders wouldn’t have anything to wear. The team’s jersey manufacturer made a shipping error that resulted in the uniforms being sent from Kansas City to a location on the East Coast. There they languished unnoticed for several days while anxious team officials put out a dragnet. Eventually the missing jerseys were discovered and were shipped to a San Francisco company for numbering before being delivered to the team.

Now that disaster had been averted, optimism was in the air. The Raider front office expected attendance for the game to surpass 25,000 with some suggesting the number might go as high as 35,000. Locals were hoping the Raiders would beat the Texans, but the real competition was with the 49ers. Team owners knew that playing in San Francisco put them in direct competition with their NFL counterpart for ticket sales and hoped the Oakland community would cross the bay to provide enthusiastic support for their team.

Oakland Tribune