December 17, 1960

The Raiders saved their best for last, turning in a dominating performance, including 31 fourth quarter points, to beat the Broncos 48-10.

The morning’s discovery of damage to Candlestick Park’s goal posts led to some frantic activity, but repairs were completed by game time. The Broncos came to town with a 4-8-1 record and had gone seven games without a win. The Raiders at 5-8, with a three-game losing streak of their own, needed a win here to avoid the Western Division basement. With these modest stakes on the line a crowd of just 5,159 showed up to see the locals end the season in style.

After the Oakland defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive, Tom Flores and the offense moved to the Denver 11 in 12 plays where Larry Barnes opened the scoring with an 18-yard field goal. Later in the period, the Broncos evened the score with a 37-yarder from Gene Mingo. Babe Parilli replaced Flores after that but couldn’t get his team in the end zone. Eddie Erdelatz sent Flores back in with about five minutes to go in the second and the team promptly responded going five plays to score, with Flores getting the last few inches on a sneak. Read more “December 17, 1960”

December 16, 1960

Tearing down the goalposts is a time-honored tradition at great moments in football, but those moments don’t usually include the night before the game. Still, at some point after dark, one or more people snaked into Candlestick Park and tore down the goalposts less than 24 hours before the Raiders were to close out the season against the Broncos.

San Francisco Chronicle

December 14, 1960

With the season winding down over the next few days there wasn’t much news coming out of Raider headquarters. The team did say today that both Alan Goldstein and Charley Powell, who had been injured in the Titans game, would be able to suit up and play against the Broncos this Saturday.

Hayward Daily Review
San Francisco Chronicle

December 11, 1960

The  5-7 Raiders came back from ten points down to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on as the 6-6 Titans scored late and won 31-28 at Candlestick Park. The weather was mild but with the team out of the running a disappointing crowd of only 9,037 showed up to watch an exciting game.

The Titans came roaring out of the tunnel and dominated the first quarter. On the second play from scrimmage Art Powell went long, caught Al Dorow’s pass at the Oakland 40, and dodged various members of the Raider secondary for a 73-yard touchdown. While the Raider offense stumbled repeatedly, the Titans entered Oakland territory twice more and only Bill Shockley’s errant kicking foot kept his team from expanding their lead further.

It wasn’t until just before the end of the quarter that the Raider found their sea legs and embarked a ten-play drive resulting in Nyle McFarlane’s nifty 14-yard touchdown catch of a Tom Flores pass to even the score. The Titans responded to that bit of spirit by driving 89 yards in return, scoring on Dorow’s 12-yard keeper up the middle. Neither team accomplished much more before the half, though the Titans did get Shockley another chance on the last play. John Harris blocked his 31-yard field goal attempt and the Raiders were down just 14-7 at the interval despite a subpar effort. Read more “December 11, 1960”

December 10, 1960

Scotty Stirling reported in the Oakland Tribune that the team remained enthusiastic and motivated despite being eliminated from the playoffs. At the very least, players were playing for a spot on next year’s squad. With the Titans having an outside shot at catching Houston for the Eastern Division title, the Raiders could play spoiler in tomorrow’s game.

One thing the players were hoping for was that the team would make good on their promise to use a different substance to lay down the lines on the Candlestick Park field. In response to several players reporting burns after last week’s game, a team spokesperson assured players a chalk lime would be used.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

December 8, 1960

Despite his team’s elimination from the championship hunt, Eddie Erdelatz still had personnel choices to make. After the release of Al Hoisington, Charlie Hardy was having to play virtually the entire game at receiver as the team had no designated backup at his position. As a remedy, Erdelatz planned to use John Harris on offense for the first time this year. Harris would still get his snaps in on defense but would spell Hardy periodically in the last two games of the season.

The Raider coach also said he was reducing practice time to an hour each day. “The players are in great physical shape and they know the plays backward and forward by this time, so I can’t see any reason for lengthy practices.”

In the front office, rumors of discord among the owners continued to brew. The latest topic was ticket prices for 1961. Chet Soda acknowledged that the team had discussed reducing prices for next year, though he said, “I personally do not think it’s necessary.” Addressing talk that there would be a change at general manager, he added, “It’s been mostly palaver up to now. There’s been a lot of talk and no changes yet, you’ll notice.” So far, the other owners had continued to refer all questions about the running of the team to Soda.

Soda also weighed in on Joe Foss’s decision yesterday regarding Al Bansavage. “It was a positive infraction,” he said, “What the penalty should be, I don’t know. But it should be a really stiff one to teach everyone in the league, ourselves included, that we can’t just go ahead and do as we please.”

Soda had good things to say about the team’s first experience at Candlestick Park. “The main thing we were concerned with was the wind factor,” he said, “but that doesn’t appear to be a problem this time of year. I think Candlestick is a very, very good place to play football. The visibility was outstanding. It certainly is a better spot than Kezar.” As far as continuing there next year, he said, “That decision has not definitely been made but we don’t have much choice.” The only negative that had appeared so far was a number of players complaining about burns they received from the lime used to mark the lines on the field.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

December 7, 1960

AFL commissioner Joe Foss issued his ruling today regarding the Raiders’ protest of the Chargers’ use of Al Bansavage last Sunday. Foss acknowledged that the Raiders had cause to protest, but that he would not rule the game a forfeit, saying he would “never get into the business of reversing football scores.”

I am resolving the point of dispute,” he added. “This is being done now. I will not go into the actions being taken because this is a league matter and will be dealt with privately.”

In less-weighty matters, former co-owner Harvey Binns had advertised a block of 500 tickets for Sunday’s game against the Titans for three dollars each, a one-third discount from the printed price of $4.50. Two of his associates were caught trying to sell them at the Charger game and were arrested and banned from future entry to Candlestick Park. Faced with the displeasure of the team’s current owners, Binns was unrepentant and suggested Chet Soda, in particular, was being an ass about the whole matter.

Hayward Daily Review
San Francisco Chronicle

December 6, 1960

The Raiders trimmed their roster today, placing halfback Billy Reynolds on waivers. Signed as a replacement for Bob Keyes back in October, Reynolds had been used mostly as a punt returner with an occasional stint at the flanker spot. No word on whether the team would fill his spot.

In stadium news, representatives from across Alameda County met to discuss the proposal for an East Bay stadium. Despite some dissent from those representing cities south of Oakland, the committee agreed to focus on the Hegenberger Road site in Oakland for the purpose of financial planning. Mayors from Hayward, Pleasanton, and Union City argued that a stadium that serves and is paid for by the whole county should be placed in a more central location, with Pleasanton mayor Warren Harding saying he generally opposed public subsidies altogether. Oakland City Council member Fred Maggiora said while he thought his city would support an Oakland site, they would probably not approve funds for a stadium elsewhere. No final site decision had been made by the end of the meeting.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

December 5, 1960

Raider general manager Chet Soda reaffirmed his protest with the league regarding the Chargers’ use of Al Bansavage in yesterday’s game. Asserting that Bansavage was an ineligible player, Soda wanted Joe Foss to declare the game a forfeit, which would put the Raiders back in the playoff hunt. The AFL commissioner said he probably wouldn’t be able to give it any attention until after the draft.

Soda added that “Foss told me Saturday that he called Gillman and informed him about his decision in the Bansavage case. Then yesterday after the game I talked with Gillman and he said he’d talked with Foss. Gillman said he tried to reach me about the matter before the game, but that’s all he said.”

Speaking of the draft, the league conducted the final 24 rounds by phone. The Raiders’ picks follow:

  • 7th Ray Purdin HB Northwestern
  • 8th Tom Watkins HB Iowa State (from Denver)
  • 8th Richard Price G Mississippi
  • 9th Lowndes Shingler QB Clemson
  • 10th Ken Peterson T Utah
  • 11th Doug Mayberry FB Utah State
  • 12th Robert Schmitz G Montana State
  • 13th Gerald Burch E Georgia Tech
  • 14th Clark Miller T Utah State
  • 15th Bob Coolbaugh E Richmond
  • 16th Chuck Lamson HB Wyoming
  • 17th Joe Novsek T Tulsa
  • 18th Joe Krabowski HB Illinois
  • 19th Charles Fuller HB San Francisco State
  • 20th Preston Powell FB Grambling
  • 21st Mike Jones QB San Jose State
  • 22nd Blayne Jones G Idaho State
  • 23rd Roger Fisher C Utah State
  • 24th Jack Novak G Miami (FL)
  • 25th Paul Yanke E Northwestern
  • 26th Dean Hinshaw T Stanford
  • 27th Clair Appledoorn E San Jose State
  • 28th Dave Grosz QB Oregon
  • 29th Ed Morris T Indiana
  • 30th William Face FB Stanford

 

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle

December 4, 1960

And just like that, the Raiders’ playoff hopes were gone. After three quarters, they were clinging to a three-point lead, but the Chargers exploded for 27 points in the final 15 minutes and clinched at least a tie for the AFL Western Division with a 41-17 win.

The rain that had fallen in the Bay Area for most of the last week had tapered off a couple of days before the game, but the field was still a little soft and uncertain. The largest home crowd since the season opener, 12,061, showed up for the first football game ever played at Candlestick Park.

A scoreless first period was followed by a quick exchange of scores early in the second. The Chargers broke the ice first when Jack Kemp threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Royce Womble. The Raiders returned the favor on Billy Lott’s two-yard run. Late in the period Tom Flores connected with Charlie Hardy for a 10-yard touchdown and Kemp threw to Don Norton for a 21-yarder. The teams were tied at 14 at the half. Read more “December 4, 1960”