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.

Fresno State University football media guide
Oakland Tribune
University of Kentucky football media guide
University of Mississippi football media guide

April 14, 1960

The nine days wonder that was the Oakland Señors was no more. Faced with increasingly noisy objection to the team’s nickname from Easy Bay residents and potential fans, the Oakland leadership decided to go with Raiders instead. A duplicate set of prizes was awarded with the winning entry going to Kendrick Martin of Hayward. He chose Raiders “because our team and its supporters must be fired and inspired by a fighting name. ‘Raiders’ implies early, sustained offense, carrying the fight to the opponents.”

General manager Chet Soda approved. “(Raiders) was all we and the people of the Bay Area could wish for,” he said, “We certainly appreciate our fans’ interest in our club. Public sentiment disapproved of ‘Señors’. We hope everyone will like ‘Raiders’ as much as we do.”

Oakland Tribune

April 7, 1960

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz reported that the team had signed 40 players, but he still wouldn’t provide a list until the league approved it. Meanwhile, the nickname controversy continued. An Oakland Tribune editorial suggested there was a groundswell of local support for a name change, citing various reasons, such as “Señors” wasn’t fierce enough for a football team, to suggestions that the name would be a source of merriment around the country. And there were hints of a racist component to the rumblings, that the name wasn’t sufficiently American. There was also a rumor, squelched by general manager Chet Soda, that Dallas owner Lamar Hunt had sent a one-word telegram in response to the nickname: “Ridiculous.”

Oakland Tribune

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

April 5, 1960

While head coach Eddie Erdelatz and his crew were off scouting players for the second round of allocation picks, the nickname contest had wound down to its conclusion and the team announced the choice. Henceforth, the team would be known as the Oakland Señors. The winning entry belonged to Helen Davis, an employee of the Oakland police department. Her entry was among seven that chose Señors, and her explanation for the choice earned her the prize of a trip to Acapulco. Her winning entry: “Señors symbolizes the history, strength, and solidarity of Old World California. The name personifies the original fighting spirit characteristic of the first settlers of California.” Davis described herself as flabbergasted at winning the contest saying she wasn’t much a of a football fan, really, “but you can bet your life I will be from now on.”

Read more “April 5, 1960”

March 20, 1960

The team announced a contest to decide their nickname. Sponsored by the Oakland Junior Chamber of Commerce, with a five-person panel of judges consisting of local business leaders and politicians, plus Chet Soda, each contestant was to offer their suggestion with a 25-words-or-fewer essay explaining the reason for their choice. The deadline for entries was April 2. First prize was a one-week trip for two to Acapulco plus a pair of tickets to the home opener. Second prize was a trip to Los Angeles to see the Charger game, plus tickets for the home opener. Third prize was a pair of season tickets, with 25 runners-up to receive tickets to the opener.

Oakland Tribune