Jul 292016

With just a couple of days to go until the opening of training camp, the Raider brass shared some thoughts about the team.

Owner and general manager Chet Soda spoke about how far they had come in just a few months. “We had an office with two chairs and couple of telephones on the floor (in the beginning)”, he said, “but we didn’t have much chance to use the chairs. We sat on the floor keeping the phones busy attempting to catch up with the rest of the league.”

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz was just happy to make the acquaintance of some of his players, having seen only a handful of them play in person. “I hope most of them are strong enough to make us wince when we shake hands,” he said, “Even if it hurts, it will be an improvement over talking to them on the phone and working them into a system on paper. Now we will find out how the men will fit the system.

“Next year will be different and easier. We will know our players and the other teams. Our problem will be modifying and improving — much simpler than starting with nothing but two chairs and a pair of phones.”

As for early activity in training camp, Erdelatz explained that “we won’t have time at first for much instruction. We have to find those who can play and concentrate on them. Practice will be closed to the public for the first week or two. We can’t afford to waste a second because we have to be ready to play the Dallas Texans in Kezar Stadium, July 31.

“We know we obtained several men from the league pool who can play, but we have a lot to find out about most of the others. This is certainly one case when the lineup isn’t set in advance, when every position is really open.”

He felt that just about anything could happen once the season started. “We don’t know enough about what we have, or enough about the opposition, to be pessimistic,” he said. “The first few games will be interesting from a technical point. None of the teams will know just what preparations to make for the others. It will be a challenge.”

Erdelatz said he didn’t plan to be particularly strict about discipline in camp saying, “We won’t do any spying or have things like bed checks. Football at every level from Pop Warner league through professional requires sacrifice and if a player doesn’t realize this then he won’t do the club any good. This type of player can be spotted without bed checks and the like.”

The coaching staff planned to conduct morning and afternoon workouts each day.

Oakland Tribune

Jul 262016

Mel Venter, a radio personality most noted for his days as the leader of KFRC’s “Breakfast Gang” morning show, was named to provide color commentary alongside Bud Foster on KNBC’s Raider broadcasts.

Oakland Tribune

Jul 202016

The Raiders announced the hiring of Bud Hastings to the position of assistant general manager. Hastings, 43, had most recently been executive director of the Associated Students of the University of California and would serve as Chet Soda’s top lieutenant.

Oakland Tribune

Jul 192016

The Raiders confirmed that Santa Cruz would be the site of training camp and revised the opening date to July 10. Players would stay at the Hotel Palomar and work out at Santa Cruz High School.

Oakland Tribune

Jul 182016

The Raiders signed 29-year-old Alex Bravo, a 6’0”, 200-pound defensive back from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. After three years as a Little All-American with the Mustangs, Bravo spent a year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL before playing with the Los Angeles Rams in 1957 and 1958. He had retired after the 1958 season to become a football and track coach at Hawthorne High School in the Los Angeles area. A speedster, clocked at 9.7 in the 100 yard dash, he was expected to compete for a starting spot on the Oakland squad.

Las Vegas Daily Optic
Oakland Tribune

Jul 072016

The team announced that training camp would open July 11, probably in Santa Cruz, 70 miles south of Oakland on Monterey Bay. No official announcement regarding the site had been made, but all signs pointed in that direction.

In other developments, the San Francisco 49ers announced they had signed a ten year lease to play in Kezar Stadium following the 1961 campaign, meaning the Raiders would have to find another place to call home by then.

Oakland Tribune

Jul 062016

The Raiders announced they had signed a deal with KNBC radio in San Francisco for the broadcast of the team’s preseason and regular season games in 1960. The fees were said to be in the “high five figures”. Bud Foster, the 49ers’ radio voice for KYA in the early days of the franchise, was to do the play-by-play with a color commentator to be named later.

Bay Area Radio Museum
Oakland Tribune

Jul 042016

Chet Soda announced that the Raiders had hired noted swing bandleader and Oakland native Del Courtney to be the team’s musical director. Courtney said he was “thrilled” to be hired by the Raiders and was “looking forward to providing the Raiders and their fans with one of the most colorful and exciting football bands in the country.”

Oakland Tribune