April 15, 1960

The team’s new nickname met with general approval in the early going. The first contest winner, Helen Davis, said, “Raiders is a nice name. I don’t care that they discarded my name. I want everybody to be happy. I’m just sorry ‘Señors’ caused so much dissatisfaction. I’ve been kidded so much since the contest I’m actually relieved that they changed the name. When I get back from Mexico I plan to attend all the Raiders home games.”

In actual football matters the Raiders announced the addition of five additional players:

Don Churchwell, a 6’1, 255-pound guard/linebacker from Mississippi, Nicknamed “Bull”, he was drafted in the fifth round of the 1959 draft by the Baltimore Colts, but went to the Redskins prior to the start of the season and played ten games for Washington. He had eventually made his way to the Houston Oilers before being selected by Oakland.

Bob Dougherty, a 6’1″, 235-pound linebacker from Kentucky. A two-way back for the Wildcats who led his team in rushing his senior season, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 20th round of the 1957 draft. He played 22 games for the Rams and Steelers over the next two seasons before ending up on the Broncos roster where the Raiders found and drafted him.

Wayne Hawkins, a 5’11”, 235-pound guard from Pacific. Originally drafted by the Broncos, he was dealt to the Chargers before being drafted by Oakland.

Larry Lancaster, a 6’3″, 235-pound tackle from Georgia. Like Hawkins, he was also chosen off the Chargers roster.

Dean Philpott, a 6’0, 205-pound halfback from Fresno State. A three-year All-Coast Conference performer, he was the Bulldogs all-time leader in rushing yards and points scored. Drafted by the Cardinals in 1958, he appeared in nine games for the Chicago club in 1959. He, too, was picked from the Los Angeles squad.

With the selection of these five, head coach Eddie Erdelatz announced the end of the allocation draft. “We have all the players we want from the league’s seven other clubs,” he explained.

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April 8, 1960

The Señors announced the signing of five more players, bring the total of official signees to ten. Two of the players were part of the second round of allocation draft choices, with more names presumably to come. The new draftees were:

Buddy Allen, a 5’11”, 195-pound halfback from Utah State. A two-year letterman with the Aggies, he gained 7.0 yards per carry his senior season, scoring seven touchdowns, and was originally drafted by Boston.

Ramon Armstrong, a 6’1″, 225-pound, guard/defensive tackle out of TCU, chosen from the New York Titans. He was also drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 20th round and was a participant in the East-West Shrine Game.

The team also confirmed previous reports that North Carolina end Alan Goldstein had indeed been drafted from Buffalo and had been signed.

The Señors also picked up free agent Jerry Flynn, a 6’1″, 230-pound defensive end from Humboldt State.

Lastly, they signed Tony Teresa, a 5’10”, 185-pound quarterback/halfback out of San Jose State. Teresa had been an excellent two-way player for the Spartans, leading them in both passing and defensive interceptions during his time there. After leaving college, he played for the British Columbia Lions in the 1956 and 1957, first at quarterback, then in the defensive backfield. In 1958, he got a cup of coffee with the 49ers, but was cut in October.

Oakland Tribune
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San Mateo Times
Tucson Daily Citizen

April 6, 1960

A report circulated that the Señors had drafted 6’0″, 200-pound end Alan Goldstein from Buffalo in the second round of the allocation draft. Head coach Eddie Erdelatz wouldn’t confirm the choice, saying the league hadn’t notified him of anything. Goldstein, a 1958 NEA All-American first-teamer during his junior year at North Carolina had been drafted as a future pick by the Rams in 1959 and then was chosen by the Bills in the AFL’s draft.

Meanwhile, the newly-minted nickname was attracting some critics. The Oakland city council approved a resolution by a vote of 4-1, with three abstentions, disapproving of the Señors name. Raider co-owner Bob Osborne provided one of the four yea votes. Reasons for the resolution were not given.

Oakland Tribune

March 25, 1960

The team announced five additional allocation draft selections from the first round. No choice was made from the Denver roster as head coach Eddie Erdelatz wanted to make further inquiries before selecting a player. The status of Ben Donnell, the choice announced by league commissioner Joe Foss the day before, was uncertain. Erdelatz would not confirm the choice, but didn’t deny it either, saying the announcement had come from the league office, not from the team. The five new selections were as follows:

From Boston: Bob Nelson, a 6’5″, 245-pound center from Wisconsin. Drafted by Cleveland in the 20th round and by the Texans in the 1st round, he had already been something of a wanderer in the pro ranks. Before making his way to the Patriots from the Texans, he had entertained offers from the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.

From Buffalo: Joe Cannavino, a 5’11”, 185-pound halfback from Ohio State. A 16th-round pick of the Colts, he aided his Buckeyes to a 10-7 win over Oregon in the 1958 Rose Bowl with two interceptions. Baltimore cut him in training camp in 1958 and he suffered the same fate with the Browns in 1959 before turning up with the Bills.

From Dallas: Marv Lasater, a 6’0″, 190-pound halfback TCU. An All-Southwest Conference selection with the Horned Frogs, he was drafted in the third round by the Chargers and the fifth round by the Colts, before eventually signing with the Texans.

From Houston: Billy Lott, a 6’0″, 200-pound halfback from Mississippi. He was an All-Southeastern Conference choice with the Rebels, he scored the winning touchdown in 14-13 win over TCU in the 1956 Cotton Bowl. A sixth-round choice of the Giants, he got a handful of carries with New York in 1958 before leaving the team in the 1959 preseason.

From New York: Jerry Epps, a 6’1″, 225-pound guard from West Texas State. He had been drafted in the 28th round by the Packers in 1959, but ended up playing the season with Edmonton in the CFL.

While the draft was taking the lion’s share of the team’s attention, they weren’t ignoring the more obscure corners of the football landscape. Gordon Tovani, a barefoot placekicker from Marin County, had caught the eye of Erdelatz by virtue of a rumored successful 83-yard field goal attempt in practice.

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March 24, 1960

AFL commissioner Joe Foss announced that Oakland had selected Ben Donnell, center, from the Chargers in the first round of the allocation draft. Expected to play defense in the pro game, Donnell, a seventh round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1959, had left training camp voluntarily that summer, but was giving it another go in the AFL. The remaining six selections in the first round remained unnamed.

Milwaukee Journal
Oakland Tribune

March 23, 1960

The Oakland front office announced their colors would be black and orange in a style reminiscent of the Chicago Bears. Home jerseys were to be black with white numerals and three orange stripes on the sleeves. Pants were to be white with black and orange stripes. An all-black helmet would complete the ensemble.

In non-sartorial news, the team indicated it had made its first seven selections in the allocation draft and were waiting for league authorization to announce the names.

Oakland Tribune

March 22, 1960

As the first round of the AFL’s allocation draft got underway, Oakland general manager Chet Soda claimed that some teams were protecting more than eleven players, because some nominally draft-eligible players were unavailable due to no-trade clauses in their contracts. Soda was particularly interested in Houston quarterback George Blanda, but couldn’t talk the former Chicago Bear into signing with Oakland, even when offered more money than the Oilers had given him. Soda complained to Commissioner Joe Foss, but Foss, while sympathetic, refused to remedy the situation. The commissioner did agree that in subsequent rounds, teams would be required to include players with no-trade contracts among their eleven protectees.

In other news, head coach Eddie Erdelatz selected ex-Ram and -Colt halfback Tommy Kalmanir as his offensive backfield coach. An All-American at Nevada just after World War II, Kalmanir played three seasons with Los Angeles (1949-51) and spent 1953 with Baltimore before spending a final year as a player with Edmonton in the Canadian leagues in 1955. After his playing days were done, he put in time as a coach in the CFL before Oakland tabbed him.

The team also announced a player transaction. USC lineman Al Bansavage, a Minneapolis draftee whose signing rights had transferred to Oakland (a fact not previously reported), had signed with the Baltimore Colts.

Oakland Tribune

March 5, 1960

Further details filtering out of the league meetings fleshed out the allocation plan. Oakland was to select one player from each team per round. Teams would provide the first lists of protected and available players to Oakland by March 12 and the team would have ten days to make each round’s selections.

The league also announced they would observe a 75-mile blackout radius for the television broadcast of teams playing at home. The AFL had not yet completed a television pact, but were in negotiations, and planned a single league-wide contract. Revenue from the contract would be shared equally among the teams. This was in contrast to the NFL, whose teams negotiated individual contracts in each market.

Oakland Tribune

March 4, 1960

The AFL announced plans for what amounted to an expansion draft to stock the team. Each of the other seven teams were to protect eleven players. Oakland would be allowed five rounds of selections, seven players per round, for a total of 35 players. After each round, the teams would be allowed to make changes to their protected list if desired. The plan was approved on a 5-2 vote with the Titans and Chargers preferring a 22-man protected list. The league expected the first round to take place on or after March 20 with a week between each round.

Oakland Tribune