March 30, 1961

The Tribune’s Scotty Stirling reported today that the Raiders were looking to trade up to two of their offensive backs in return for some help on defense, particularly at defensive tackle, outside linebacker, and cornerback. The team wouldn’t mention which players were on the block.

“We look, first of all, for the best football player, regardless of position,” said line coach Marty Feldman, “so in any trade we may get a man for a position other than those we feel need the most help.”

Stirling also said Eddie Erdelatz was in the process of hiring another assistant and was currently conducting interviews.

Oakland Tribune

March 29, 1960

George Ross’s column in the Tribune today took on “a fellow who writes for one of the lesser papers across the bay” who complained that “Oakland is a bush league town,” said he’d give 50-to-1 odds that Oakland never built a stadium, and wouldn’t support the team even if they did. Ross didn’t identify the writer or the paper.1 To counter the other writer’s argument, Ross provided quotes from the Raider owners.

Ed McGah: “For the benefit of the few readers the guy might have on this side of the bay, I’ll cover some of that 50-to-1 money right now.”

Robert Osborne: “I’ve got 10-to-1 we’ll get a stadium and the Raiders will be in it, and so will an American League baseball team.”

Wayne Valley: “We wouldn’t be here today if we weren’t sure a stadium is going to be built in Oakland. We’re preparing for the 1961 season, our preseason ticket sales campaign is under way, we’re expecting better crowds than last year, we see no reason to think the Raiders won’t be playing football in 1962, 1963, 1970, and in Oakland as soon as possible.”

Oakland Tribune

1. I poked around but couldn’t find who the author or the paper was.

March 27, 1961

Columnist George Ross argued in today’s Tribune that if Raider fans didn’t support the team when it played in San Francisco they’d never get a chance to support them in Oakland. “Our golden egg,” he wrote, “will wind up in somebody else’s nest–in Sacramento, or San Jose, or Fresno, or out of state–and we’ll be in Bushville, by the Bay.” He cited an assertion by the city of Minneapolis that the addition of the Twins and Vikings represented “a $15 million addition to the local economy,” and exhorted his readers to start buying up those season tickets or say goodbye to the team forever.

Oakland Tribune

March 26, 1961

Tribune writer Scotty Stirling followed Tom Louderback around for a day as the Raider linebacker hawked season tickets in and around downtown Oakland. Louderback, along with Jack Larscheid, Wayne Crow, and Ron Sabal made up the “Four Men in Motion” campaign put in place by ticket manager Al Salisbury to help the team reach its goal of selling 15,000 season tickets for the 1961 campaign. Louderback was said to be the leading seller of the four and sold 200 on the day Stirling accompanied him.

Louderback said, “Several people refused to buy because they don’t want to drive to Candlestick Park, but the real fans seem to realize the club will have to be a success in San Francisco if it is to survive until our coliseum is built in Oakland.

“I’ve only run into a few people who weren’t interested in the Raiders. You just have to see the enthusiasm and then you realize most people in the Eastbay want to back the club. They like the personalized sales service, too.”

AFL Passing Numbers

The AFL released its individual passing totals today, and by a method not spelled out in the story, Jack Kemp of the Chargers was deemed to hold the number one spot. The Raiders’ Tom Flores came in at sixth place, while Babe Parilli finished tenth. Denver’s Frank Tripucka topped the list in attempts with 478, completions with 245, yards with 3,039, and interceptions with 34. Al Dorow of the Titans led the league with 26 touchdowns and Kemp led in yards per attempt at 7.43.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

March 23, 1961

In today’s Tribune Ray Haywood’s column was all about Raider guard Don Manoukian’s other job: pro wrestler on the Texas circuit. Manoukian said the promoters tried to make him a hero at first, but inevitably the hirsute 240-pound lineman had no choice but to play the villain. Fortunately, that fit well with his day job.

“I’m spreading the the prestige and fear of the mighty Raiders via my body slams and TV appearances,” he said. “When I first got here I told everybody on TV and radio that the Raiders were Texas state champs because we beat both Dallas and Houston on our road trips. Man, that irked the natives to no end. Then, when I won the Texas heavyweight championship I wore the trophy belt upside down to remind the people what I had done to their state. The more unpopular I got, the bigger the crowds.”

Oakland Tribune

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