March 21, 1961

The season ticket publicity campaign continued today in Prescott Sullivan’s column in the Examiner. He detailed the challenges the players faced in their door-to-door campaign as they sold a whopping 66 tickets in their first day of work in Oakland. The team planned to shift their efforts to San Francisco soon and general manager Bud Hastings suggested that Eddie Erdelatz could soon be dragooned into efforts to collect payments from those who chose the layaway plan.

“Coach Erdelatz has a persuasive way about him,” said Hastings. “In my opinion, he would make a crackerjack bill collector.”

San Francisco Examiner

March 19, 1961

The Raiders began a publicity blitz for their 1961 season ticket drive that would start tomorrow. Four players—Wayne Crow, Jack Larscheid, Tom Louderback, and Ron Sabal—would be the public face of the effort led by Bud Hastings and new ticket manager Al Salisbury. The team hoped to sell 15,000 tickets priced at $28.00 each and hastened to point out they were one of the few teams in pro football that didn’t require purchasers to buy preseason tickets as part of the package. For those without immediate ready cash, they were also offering an installment plan with $8.00 down and $5.00 each month until the first of August.

Another AFL stat dump

Today, the AFL released their official pass receiving numbers. Denver’s Lionel Taylor topped the list with 92 catches. The yardage title went to Bill Groman on Houston with 1,473. Art Powell of the Titans led in touchdowns with 14. The top Raider was fullback Billy Lott, whose 49 catches tied him for sixth place with Boston’s Jim Colclough.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

March 16, 1961

The Raiders announced four free agent signings today: Bo Bankston, John Freim, Charley Moore, and Fred Tunnicliffe.

Bankston, at 5’10”, 200 pounds out of New Mexico, was signed to play defensive back. All All-Skyline Conference player for two years running with the Lobos, he tried out with the Steelers last year at linebacker, but was deemed too light to play at the position and was released prior to the season.

Freim, 23, was a 6’3”, 225-pound tackle from Adams State in Colorado. He earned Little All-America honorable mention for the Grizzlies last year.

This was Moore’s second go-round with the Raiders. The 6’4”, 220-pound tight end out of Northeastern State in Oklahoma had signed on August 2 last year, but was waived at the end of the month.

The speedy Tunnicliffe played end for UC-Santa Barbara setting NAIA records for receptions and receiving yards in a season in 1959. His head coach with the Gauchos that year was former Raider assistant Ed Cody. The 21-year-old stood 5’9” and weighed 175 pounds.

More AFL stats

The league released another batch of stats today, this time covering punt returns. Among teams, the Texans led the league with 15.0 yards per return. The Raiders were dead last at 5.8. Abner Haynes of Dallas led individuals with his 15.4 average. Jack Larscheid finished third bringing back 12 punts for 106 yards and an 8.8 average.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner

March 15, 1961

In the rematch of a game held January 21, the 49ers beat the Raiders, 66-44, in a basketball game played at the Oakland Auditorium as part of an Easter Seals benefit. The Niners led 27-21 at halftime and San Francisco tackle John Thomas led all scorers with 20 points. Charlie Hardy and Jetstream Smith shared honors for the Raiders at 8 points apiece. The 49ers won the first game 65-48. 

In the Front Office 

The Raiders appointed former University of California ticket department employee Al Salisbury as their ticket manager replacing Everitt Nevin, who had been employed on a commission basis since last October. 

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner 

March 12, 1961

The AFL began its release of official statistics for the 1960 season today and the first data dump included rushing numbers. The Texans led all teams with 1,814 yards or 129.6 per game. The Raiders finished second with 1,785 yards or 127.5 per game.

Abner Haynes of the Texans won the individual crown with 875 yards on 156 carries. Paul Lowe of the Chargers was second with 855 yards and led the league in average gain at 6.3 yards per carry. Oakland’s Tony Teresa finished fifth with 608 yards on 139 carries. Houston’s Dave Smith and Billy Cannon came in third and fourth, respectively.

Hayward Daily Review

March 9, 1961

The Raiders and 49ers announced plans to meet again on the basketball court on March 15 at the Oakland Auditorium as part of a benefit for the Easter Seals Society. The teams met previously on February 21 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, with the 49ers winning, 65-48.

The Raiders squad, coached by Tom Louderback, would consist of the following players:

Wayne Crow
George Fields
Tom Flores
Charlie Hardy
John Harris
Jack Larscheid
Jetstream Smith
Tony Teresa
Ron Warzeka

The 49ers were coached by Gordy Soltau and would feature these players:

John Brodie
Ted Connolly
Clyde Connor
Matt Hazeltine
Ed Henke
RC Owens
Bob St Clair
John Thomas
YA Tittle
Billy Wilson

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

March 7, 1961

George Hower, Jr.’s column in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat included details of his conversation with Tom Louderback over the Tribune’s report of a contract beef. According to Hower, Louderback was “distressed” and said he had “never experienced a cut.”

“It’s surprising,” Louderback said, “because the coaches thought I had a good year. I played every game…which I thought would entitle me to an automatic raise.” He said he missed just five minutes out of a single game when he had the wind knocked out of him. Hower said the current dispute was over “special provisions,” though Louderback wouldn’t give details.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

March 4, 1961

A Game in Hawaii

Raider general manager Bud Hastings announced that the team would open their 1961 preseason slate against the Houston Oilers in Honolulu. According to Scotty Stirling of the Tribune, the game was actually a gift to the Oilers players from the team’s management for winning the AFL championship and the Raiders were just lucky beneficiaries. The Oilers would open training camp in Hawaii three weeks prior to the game.

According to an Oilers official, the plan came from owner Bud Adams. “It will be a change from the hot, humid camp we had in Texas last year,” said the unnamed official, “and the trip certainly should be enjoyable to the squad.”

The Raiders had yet to schedule their other three preseason games, but said one would likely be played in Candlestick Park, another would take place in Sacramento or Stockton, and the last would probably be against the Chargers in their new San Diego home. The team was still deciding between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa for their own training camp, with Eddie Erdelatz plumping for Santa Cruz.

Contract News

Wayne Crow, who reportedly had been at odds with management over his contract for 1961, said he thought his situation, which had involved confusion or disagreement over whether offseason payments were part of his 1960 contract, said he thought things had been “straightened out.”

John Dittrich, for his part, said he was “very happy” with his new deal. Stirling reported that Marty Feldman called Dittrich the team’s best guard.

Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

March 2, 1961

Ed Schoenfeld of the Tribune reported that progress had been made toward the building of a stadium in Oakland. Per the report, the city of Oakland, Alameda County, and Stadium, Inc., the non-profit tasked with hiring contractors for the project, had engaged in further discussions on the project and signaled that a “preliminary agreement” could be presented to the parties within ten days.

Oakland Tribune

March 1, 1961

Contract Talk

Scotty Stirling, in the Oakland Tribune, reported that there was unhappiness among some of the players over their 1961 contract offers. Wayne Crow, Charlie Hardy, Jack Larscheid, Tom Louderback, and Tony Teresa all voiced some degree of disappointment according to Stirling. Crow and Louderback said they received pay cuts, while Hardy, Larscheid, and Teresa said their raises were too small or non-existent. Tom Flores, on the other hand, said he was “reasonably happy” with his deal and Stirling said the general consensus was that he had received a hefty increase over last year. No specific dollar figures were mentioned anywhere in the story.

Quotes

Crow, explaining that part of his 1960 deal included the withholding of part of his salary to be paid to him during the offseason while he completed his degree at Cal: “The withheld money was not a bonus, but part of my basic salary and it isn’t included in my new contract. That represents a big cut in pay. The withholding setup did not work too well, and I don’t want a similar contract, but that money was a part of my salary so I feel there may be a mistake somewhere. At any rate, I’m not signing until I’ve thrashed the thing out with club officials.”

Hardy: “My contract had a bump in it, all right, but I’m not satisfied with it.”

Larscheid: “I sent (my contract) back, and I’ve since received a letter requesting I drop into the office to discuss the matter. I know, too, that Wayne Hawkins isn’t pleased with the terms in his contract, and he was a starter all of last year.”

Louderback who, like Larscheid, returned his contract unsigned: “They included a big cut in the salary and I’m not signing. When I first got the contract in the mail I thought it was a misprint. I feel I had a good year for the club. I was a starter all season and didn’t get any complaints about my play from the coaches.”

Teresa: “I just gave (my offer) a quick look when I saw the small raise and I threw it in a drawer. I’m thinking it over and I may send it back unsigned.”

Oakland Tribune