February 4, 1960

The team appointed Chet Soda as acting chairman of the board while the search for a coach and general manager continued. The owners hired former University of San Francisco athletic director Jimmy Needles to oversee the candidate screening process. A rumor from a persuasive source hinted that Eddie Erdelatz had been offered the head coaching job after a 7-1 approval vote by the owners, with only Charles Harney voting against. However, Robert Osborne denied that an offer had been made, that a vote had been taken, or even that Needles had been hired as a consultant. Nevertheless, the Tribune reported that Erdelatz had met with Soda and Needles and that he wanted a three year contract for either $20,000 per year plus a percentage of the gate, or a straight $25,000 per year.

On the general manager front, observers thought the team had eliminated Pappy Waldorf from consideration because his demand of a $30,000 salary plus a percentage of the gate was too high. Phil Bengtson now commanded the front-runner spot with Paul Christopoulos and assistant Detroit Lions general manager Bud Erickson still in the mix.

In stadium news, the California State Senate joined the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors by passing a resolution asking the Cal regents to reconsider letting the pros on campus.

Oakland Tribune
Hayward Daily Review

January 30, 1960

In another stunning reversal, the AFL awarded the eighth and final franchise to the city of Oakland. Much of the credit for the change went to Chargers owner Barron Hilton. Hilton, who had been out of town for previous votes, made a strong plea upon his return for choosing Oakland. And on the league’s fifth ballot, the California city was chosen unanimously. Commissioner Joe Foss gave three reasons for the decision: the creation of a west coast rival for Los Angeles, the Oakland community’s strong show of interest, and better geographic balance than would have been provided by a team in Atlanta. Foss also credited a strong presentation by Chet Soda, Wayne Valley, and in particular, Robert Osborne.

Read more “January 30, 1960”

January 22, 1960

The University of California regents met and formally denied permission for the use of their stadium by the pros. Meanwhile, the Bill Jackson and Ted Harrer prospective ownership groups finally met for discussions, but no merger agreement came from it. The negotiators couldn’t agree about who would have ultimate authority. To complicate matters further, a third group of investors appeared on the scene, this one headed by local real estate developer Chet Soda. The new group also included Oakland city councilman Robert Osborne and Candlestick Park contractor Charles Harney.

Oakland Tribune