April 28, 1961

The AFL announced the 1961 schedule today and Raiders coach Eddie Erdelatz responded by saying, “At least we’ll find out real quick just how big a job we’ll have in front of us.” His team would open the season on the road against last year’s title game participants in consecutive weeks. The dates for the final two games were still undecided though the opponents were locked in.

September 9, at Houston
September 17, at San Diego
September 24, vs Dallas

October 1, vs Denver
October 15, at Denver
October 22, vs San Diego
October 29, vs New York

November 5, at Buffalo
November 13, at New York
November 17, at Boston
November 26, at Dallas

December 3, vs Buffalo
December 9 or 10, vs Boston
December 16 or 17, vs Houston

Raiders on wheels

After a pair of defeats on the basketball court, the Raiders finally bested the 49ers, outscoring them 37-36 on the roller derby rink. Tom Flores, not mentioned when the rosters were announced a couple of weeks ago, led all skaters with 13 points.

Oakland Tribune

April 23, 1961

Tribune scribe Ed Schoenfeld offered a report from a local meteorologist regarding the weather conditions teams could expect at the proposed site of a stadium in Oakland. The meteorologist, E. P. Norwood of the United States Weather Bureau, said a football team playing a day game at the stadium could expect calm winds or light breezes roughly 80% of the time. September and October game dates were likely to be dry, with only a handful of days of rain in November and December. High winds would be even less likely in the evenings, though rainfall was expected to be about the same as during the daytime.

Oakland Tribune

April 22, 1961

According to Tribune reporter Scotty Stirling, the Raiders were planning to expand the ownership group to include 12 to 15 limited partners. These partners, some of whom might already have been selected, would have no voting or management power, and would simply be investors. According to Stirling, the plan had been under consideration for a while.

The unnamed source for the story, who seemed to be at least one step removed from the team, said, “It would appear the move not only gives the club fresh capital for the coming season, but indicates a faith in the Raiders and the AFL by local investors.”

Oakland Tribune

April 16, 1961

Examiner columnist Prescott Sullivan reported that the Raiders had done about $15,000 worth of damage to Candlestick Park in their three home games there last season. In lieu of cash, said Sullivan, the team was giving the San Francisco Giants free use of Del Courtney’s band during the baseball season.

San Francisco Examiner

April 14, 1961

Raider guard Don Manoukian ended up in the hospital after injuring his shoulder in a pro wrestling bout against John Goti in Santa Clara tonight. Diagnosed with a separated shoulder, a full recovery was expected though no timetable for his release from the hospital had been set.

Oakland Tribune

April 9, 1961

As hinted at a few days ago, the Raiders have hired George Dickson to coach their offensive backs. The 37-year-old Dickson played his college ball at Notre Dame, then took a series of assistant coaching jobs in the collegiate ranks, including at Glendale Junior College, NYU, Notre Dame, Dayton, Marquette, and USC, before landing most recently at the College of the Pacific.

Oakland Tribune


April 7, 1961

The Raiders announced the signing of five more free agents today: halfback Bob Cabanyog, defensive back Ted Cano, guard Tom Cousineau, halfback Herm Urenda, and defensive lineman Dave Williams.

The 22-year-old Cabanyog, a 6’1″, 205-pounder from Salinas, played his college ball at Pacific where his speed and blocking skills were particularly prized.

Cano, 23, 6’0″ and 190 pounds, went to high school in San Francisco before going north to play running back for Washington State. Given the overwhelming need for players in the secondary the Raiders were going to try him out there.

Cousineau, now 27, had been with the Raiders briefly in training camp last year, but returned to Indiana to “fulfill a high school teaching commitment” and was being given another shot at pro ball this season.

The 5’10”, 180-pound Urenda, 22, was a backfield teammate of Cabanyog at Pacific and despite good running skills in the open field was also going to be tried out in the defensive backfield.

The Raiders hoped that the 22-year-old Williams, at 6’6″ and 270 pounds, would provide more size and strength to a unit that was badly overmatched at times last season. He played his college ball at Sacramento City College.

Fresno Bee-Republican
Oakland Tribune

April 4, 1961

Confirming rumors of a week ago, the Raiders made what was called “the biggest trade in their short history” today. The team sent quarterback Babe Parilli and fullback Billy Lott to the Boston Patriots in exchange for halfback Dick Christy, fullback Alan Miller, and defensive tackle Hal Smith. By season’s end last year, Parilli had been firmly relegated to backup status, but Lott was a key member of the offense, finishing second in rushing with 520 yards and leading the team with 49 catches.

The 25-year-old Christy, at 5’10” and 190 pounds finished second on the Patriots in rushing, was useful in catching passes out of the backfield, and was their primary kick return man. However, he was also capable of playing in the defensive backfield and the Raiders hinted he would be tried there.

The 6’0”, 220-pound Miller, 23, led his team in rushing with 416 yards and caught 29 passes. Both he and Christy showed a propensity to fumble the ball, a problem the plagued the Raiders last year, though Lott had not been part of the problem, having coughed the ball up just twice.

At 6’5” and 250 pounds, the 25-year-old Smith added much-needed bulk to the Raider defensive line. He played in 13 games last year, starting the season with three games for the Broncos before moving to the Pats.

Eddie Erdelatz was happy with the deal. “We’re extremely sorry to lose Lott and Parilli, but by the same token, we feel we have strengthened ourselves immeasurably by getting these three fine ballplayers,” he said.

Boston coach Lou Saban echoed his Raider counterpart. “We hated to part with Miller and Christy,” he said, “but to get what we wanted we had to give up good men. We needed a veteran quarterback to go along with Butch Songin.”

Raider general manager Bud Hastings said the team was continuing to look for other good deals.

Boston Globe
Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner