October 26, 1960

Baseball’s American League announced their expansion plans for the 1961 season and there were modest repercussions in Raider land. Two of the team’s owners, Robert Osborne and Chet Soda, were part of a group trying to entice the league to put a team in the East Bay. The Junior Circuit chose Los Angeles and Washington instead, with the latter going in as a replacement for the Senators, who were moving to the Twin Cities.

Osborne and Soda were, at least in part, hoping to create more of an incentive for the city of Oakland to help fund a stadium for the Raiders, but it was not to be, not immediately, anyway. Osborne was still hopeful that the American League might choose to add two more cities down the road and that one of them could be Oakland, or perhaps an existing team could move to the area.

“In that time, we could have a stadium built,” he said. “A few commitments not yet finalized are all that is holding the Oakland group back. If Oakland doesn’t get off the ground on building a stadium, I personally would love to see it built in southern Alameda County.”

Hayward Daily Review

October 17, 1960

A day after the team’s biggest win, the owners continued to be concerned by anemic attendance figures. Yesterday’s game drew 11,500, consistent with the numbers for previous home games, but still disappointing. Some members of the ownership group thought the $4.50 top price was simply too high.

“It’s too late to do anything about it this season,” said Don Blessing, “but next year I think we’ll quite definitely have to drop our prices. It’s obvious that people aren’t ready to pay the same price as for the 49ers,” and thought $3.00 to be about right.

Fellow owner Ed McGah wanted to go even lower. “I’d like to see the price cut in half to $2.25,” he said. “We expected to lose this year and maybe next year, but not this much.”

Chet Soda cautioned his colleagues not to be so hasty. “The team is starting to roll and that is our primary concern right now,” he said. “We have two deals now for fans to buy tickets at a reduced price and Sunday only 71 people took advantage of them. I think the attendance will pick up as the team catches on with people. We have an owner’s meeting scheduled tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll discuss the matter further, along with other subjects.” He also said he and his fellow owners were “real proud of the team and starting to smell roses.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

October 15, 1960

Eddie Erdelatz decided to give his players the day off before tomorrow’s game against the Patriots. “Our Saturday work is limited to 20 minutes and experience has taught us the drill isn’t necessary,” he said. “When a team comes off the road, say, on a Friday before the game, then a Saturday workout is in order. But we have been home all week and I think we’re better off without the Saturday practice.”

The Raiders coach confirmed that linebacker Riley Morris would miss the game. “Riley was kneed in the back when he ran with a kickoff return against Dallas,” Erdelatz explained, “and he will have to sit this one out.” Tom Louderback would slide over to Morris’ right linebacker spot and Larry Barnes would get the start at Louderback’s middle linebacker position. On offense, halfback Tony Teresa would see only spot action because of his back woes and Jack Larscheid would start the game in his stead.

Having seen poor attendance at Kezar Stadium since their first game in July, the Raider front office was anticipating improved numbers starting tomorrow. “We hope for a crowd of 15,000,” said general manger and co-owner Chet Soda, “but a lot depends on the weather.” Their best attendance total to date was the 12,703 figure for their regular season opener against Houston.

In public relations news, the team announced that Erdelatz and his staff would provide a pair of football clinics for local area kids in November. They would happen on the 19th and the 25st and were to take place at Triangle Field, adjacent to Kezar. The sessions were part of a project sponsored by former major league baseball players Mike Sabena and Lefty O’Doul in conjunction with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Board.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

October 11, 1960

General manager Chet Soda announced the resignation, “for personal reasons,” of public relations director Gene Perry today. No further explanation was given. Taking his place was sportswriter Jack Gallagher, who had been a columnist for the Oakland Tribune for better than a decade. The change would happen in a week or so.

The team also provided additional news about Riley Morris. He was reportedly recuperating nicely after a scare aboard the team’s plane on the return from Dallas. He had to be given oxygen when he reacted badly to shots given to him following a back injury suffered during the game and was taken to Merritt Hospital upon touchdown. His status for the Patriots game was still unknown.

Having been relatively quiet on the topic of the Raider quarterback controversy up to now, Eddie Erdelatz decided to speak at greater length today. He called Tom Flores and Babe Parilli “the best one-two quarterback combination in football” and said he wouldn’t trade them for anyone in any league.

“Singly, of course, there are quarterbacks just as good,” he said, “but as a tandem, you can’t find a more effective pair. In Houston, three weeks ago, we started Babe because Tommy had been having trouble regaining his form after suffering a shoulder injury. Babe had trouble making the club go, so we went with Tommy in the second half. Well, all Tommy did was direct a terrific touchdown march that gave us a 14-13 victory.

“Against Denver, the quarterbacks worked on a par. Last Sunday, in Dallas, it was Flores having first half troubles so Babe got the call in the final two periods. We scored three times, once on a well-directed drive, and pulled it out. That’s how it’s been all season. One week one guy looks great and the next week the other one comes through. I honestly can’t choose between them and I’m glad I don’t have to.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re both great and I’m real glad they’re on our side. As a pair, they give a team a great advantage when it comes to moving that ball.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

October 10, 1960

After returning home late last night the team was given the day off from practice, but at least some of the team were on hand to help kick off Raider Week in San Francisco. Mayor George Christopher hosted the ceremony starting at noon in Union Square. Before a crowd of around 500 fans, Christopher presented keys to the city to Tom Flores and Bob Dougherty, the team’s co-captains, saying his city was “where the atmosphere and the weather make it the best city in the country for football,” and added that he was “looking forward to the day the Raiders and the 49ers are playing the football world series in San Francisco.”

Team general manager Chet Soda followed, saying, “On behalf of the Raiders I want to thank all the dignitaries and people of San Francisco responsible for Raider Week and for having us here today.”

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz added his thanks, then introduced his coaching staff and asked for a cheer for line coach Ernie Jorge, who was still recuperating from a recent heart attack.

Afterward, press, dignitaries, and team members gathered for lunch at the Press and Union League Club.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

September 29, 1960

The big news today was a story that two members of the Raider ownership group, Chet Soda and Robert Osborne, were also part of a project hoping to bring an American League baseball team to the East Bay.

“We have a group of fellows who would be ready to finance the franchise if word of approval were given that a move would be made this way,” said Osborne, “but it would be on the basis that an American League franchise also would be shifted to the Los Angeles area.”

Soda pointed out that all was contingent on getting a new stadium. “It’s long range planning,” he said, “we don’t know exactly what we will be able to do. We know that to get a franchise, we first must have a stadium in which to play. But to get the stadium, we certainly are going to have to have assurance that we’ll get a franchise. I know we would draw at least 30,000 a game for our football team if we had a stadium. “Playing in San Francisco, the fans there owe us no loyalty and our Oakland-area fans just don’t want to drive that far.”

Hayward mayor RK Dettenrieder wanted to let people know his city was working on the problem. “The possibility of an American League baseball franchise along with an AFL franchise in the city limits of Hayward are being thoroughly explored,” he said, “it has been definitely determined that private capital is available at a low rate of interest to finance an adequate stadium in Hayward, and that’s a big hurdle to clear.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune


September 15, 1960

Talk about the Raiders continued to center around their financial health. Specifically, whether they could draw enough fans to stay solvent and stay in the Bay Area, or even the league. Chet Soda gave voice to the issue. “I’m a bit concerned over our attendance and income,” he said, “We hoped to do better. Maybe things will improve. All we can do is hope.”

The coaching staff believed things had improved on the field with the recent roster additions, most notably, Al Hoisington and Paul Oglesby. Eddie Erdelatz said Oglesby, a tackle replacing Don Churchwell, “has fine moves and I’m sure he will help us.”

Hoisington, a flanker, noted for his speed and size, had performed well in Texans camp, showing a knack for losing defenders in coverage, and had looked good in his first Raider practice as well.

Assistant coach Ernie Jorge was encouraged by what he’d seen from the whole team during their short week of practice following their disappointing loss to the Oilers. “We think we have things patched up,” he said, “and while we realize that Dallas is as tough as anybody in the league, we’ll make a lot better showing this week than last.”

Those same Texans had arrived in town for Friday night’s game looking to avenge a loss of their own, a discouraging 21-20 loss to the Chargers. They had led at the half, 20-7, but much like the Raiders, second half mistakes and missed opportunities had doomed their efforts.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

September 14, 1960

Following a flurry of personnel moves and hand-wringing over low attendance figures, there were rumors of dissension among the Raider ownership group. This wasn’t the first time such news had reached the public. In April, restaurateur Harvey Binns sold his share of the team, citing differences of opinion with his fellow owners.

One of the current owners, general manager Chet Soda, was quick to dispute the reports. “These stories can be summed up in one word: ‘ridiculous’,” he said.

Saying that recent meetings were held merely to talk about the roster and administrative details, Soda explained, “After all, this was the first time we’ve had a chance to talk with the coach in nine weeks at a regular meeting. There was a lot to talk over.”

Oakland Tribune

September 13, 1960

Two days out from the loss to the Oilers, the Raiders made a number of personnel moves. Four players were cut, including tackle Joe Barbee, halfback Luther Carr, tackle Don Churchwell, and quarterback Paul Larson. Read more “September 13, 1960”

August 25, 1960

While the team was flying to Massachusetts, Raider owners Chet Soda and Wayne Valley were in New York trying to persuade Joe Cronin and Dan Topping of the American League to put an expansion baseball team in Oakland. The trip was all part of an effort to drum up support for public funding of a stadium in the East Bay. Fellow owners Robert Osborne and Ed McGah and Oakland mayor Clifford Rishell were also involved in the process. The passage of a bond issue slated for the fall election was at stake and the group hoped the prospect of a baseball team coming to town would boost their chances.

Soda thought the cost of a American League franchise would be in the neighborhood of $500,000 to $750,000 and said that if they couldn’t get a stadium in Oakland soon, the Raiders might have to move to San Francisco permanently.

Oakland Tribune