February 28, 1961

The Raiders signed another trio of free agents today: halfback Grover Garvin, end John Hardy, and tackle Ray Schaack.

Garvin, 5’10” and 185 pounds, played his college ball with Cal and excelled in the return game. Last season he spent time with the Chargers in training camp before getting cut in August. Although he played both ways with the Bears, the Raiders were probably going to try him out in the secondary.

Hardy, 6’2” and 220 pounds, was Charlie Hardy’s younger brother and followed him at Oakland Tech high school before moving on to Cal Poly. Charlie said his signing “may mean a real fight for my job. I haven’t seen him since 1958, but people in football tell me he is a fine player.”

Schaack, a 240-pounder, played for UC Santa Barbara where he made honorable mention on the United Press Little All-Coast team.

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February 21, 1961

For the first time in history the Raiders and 49ers squared off on the field of battle. The teams met at the Alameda County Fairgrounds to play basketball in a charity event and the first round went to the NFL, with the Niners winning 65-48. The Raiders were never in it, going down 38-24 at the half. Oakland’s scoring leaders were George Fields with 14 points and Charlie Hardy with 12.

Back in the football world, the team announced the signing of three free agents: halfback Clive Bullian, center Harrison Rece, and tackle Bob Voight. Bullian, 25, at 5’10” and 190 pounds, played his college ball at San Jose State and had training camp experience with several pro teams, most recently with the Dallas Cowboys last year. Fellow Spartan Tony Teresa called him “a fine all-around ball player.”

Rece, 24, at 6’3” and 235 pounds, played at the University of Tampa before transferring to Trinity in Texas. He had also spent some time playing ball during military service.

The 23-year-old Voight, at 6’5” and 265 pounds out of Los Angeles State, had been drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 18th round after doing his own stint in the service. He was probably the best prospect of the three, having been an excellent athlete in several sports during his collegiate career.

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February 20, 1961

The Raiders, along with their AFL brethren, got some good news today when ABC announced they would be increasing their payments to the teams for the rights to televise their games. Citing strong ratings, especially as the season progressed, the network said the total payout in 1961 would be $2,000,000, a $200,000 increase over 1960. That would boost the Raiders’ take from $185,000 to $215,000.

Oakland Tribune

February 19, 1961

With the basketball game against the 49ers just two days away, Raiders coach Tom Louderback announced the team’s lineup: 6’3” George Fields at center, Wayne Crow and Tom Flores, both 6’1”, at forward, and 6’0” Charlie Hardy and 5’9” Tony Teresa at guard. On the bench would be John Harris, Jack Larscheid, Jetstream Smith, and Ron Warzeka.

Oakland Tribune

February 15, 1961

Today, the Raiders removed the word “acting” from Bud Hastings’s title and made him the team’s full-time general manager. Hired as the assistant GM last June, he had filled the top spot on an interim basis since Chet Soda’s resignation on January 2.

The 43-year-old Hastings said the restructuring of the ownership group had resulted in “a definite clarification of management policies.”

“The owners will determine policy and leave the management of the club in my hands,” he said. “The experience gained during our first year of operation makes us feel we’re geared now to do a much better job.”

The team filled another open spot by hiring former Chicago Cardinals guard Bob Maddock to coach the offensive line, replacing the recently departed Ernie Jorge. Maddock, 40, had played nine games for the Cardinals over two seasons before moving on to coaching stints in the college ranks, the All-America Football Conference, and the Canadian Football League. For the last three seasons he had been employed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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February 11, 1961

The Raiders lost another draft choice to the competition today. Tony Polychronis, a guard out of Utah, signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He had been chosen by the AFL’s Twin Cities franchise and by the NFL’s Giants as a redshirt last season and his AFL rights had eventually been assigned to the Raiders. In making his choice, he said simply that the Canadian team made the best offer.

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February 10, 1961

The Raiders were trumped by the team across the bay today when the 49ers signed San Francisco State halfback Charley Fuller to a contract. Fuller had been the Raiders pick in the 19th round of the most recent draft but chose to stay in San Francisco with the team that chose him in the 16th round of the NFL draft. No reason for his choice was given.

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February 8, 1961

In Prescott Sullivan’s column in today’s San Francisco Examiner, former Raider co-owner and general manager Chet Soda was quoted as saying his fellow owners hadn’t lost quite as much money as had been originally reported. Back in December, there were stories saying the owners had lost about $400,000, or $50,000 per owner. Soda explained that the figure didn’t take into account typical business practices, that his own losses were closer to $15,000, and that his fellow owners’ losses were probably in that neighborhood, too.

“When losses are written off as a tax deduction against other income,” he said, “none of us will be hurt too much.”

Elsewhere, it wasn’t likely that the Raiders were going to meet the 49ers on the gridiron any too soon, but the teams announced they would take their rivalry to the hardwood on the 21st at a court in Pleasanton. Further details were unavailable at the moment.

Oakland Tribune
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February 7, 1961

Eddie Erdelatz had two spots open on his coaching staff and was hard at work trying to fill them.

“We’ve had applicants, of course,” he said, “and we are checking them out, but at this point we haven’t made a decision and the jobs are still open.”

The work of the staff continued, though, and the three men were busy watching the game film from 1960, evaluating strategy and players.

Up in the front office, acting general manager Bud Hastings was working on a preseason schedule for 1961. Adding a potential twist to his plans was news that the 49ers were planning to play just one of their five games at home in Kezar Stadium, going on the road for the other four.

Though that would give the Raiders more solo exhibition dates at home, Hastings said his team would probably play only one game at home, too, though he wasn’t committing to that plan yet.

“The primary point about playing preseason games away is the financial consideration,” he said. “If you can schedule these contests in cities or locations where there are no professional teams, generally you can count on very good interest in the one game. We’ve found that where you play seven league games at home, there’s not as much interest locally in the exhibition as there is in the league contests.”

While the 49ers plan would free up Kezar, Hastings said the team was committed to playing in Candlestick Park.

“We prefer Candlestick,” he said. “The response from a spectator’s standpoint has been very good. The fans told us the seating was much better, that the seats were much more comfortable with arm and back rests. As a matter of fact, in several recent letters from fans, quite a point was made of the comforts of Candlestick Park.”

Hastings was still waiting to hear if would get the general manager’s position on a permanent basis. The owners hadn’t made a decision yet, but signs were pointing in that direction.

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February 4, 1961

The AFL’s hot stove league was in full swing. Yesterday, it was Hugh McElhenny, today is was Joe Kapp. The ex-Cal standout was a big hit in his second season as quarterback for Calgary in the Canadian leagues but was quoted as wanting to return to the States where his exploits would be seen by a wider audience. Like McElhenny, Kapp was considering playing out his option in 1961 to get free agent status the following season. Naturally, the Raiders came up as a possible destination and one that Kapp seemed amenable to. The Raiders response was necessarily noncommittal.

“We could only negotiate a contract with Kapp if he were a free agent,” said acting general manager Bud Hastings.

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