December 24, 1960

The American Football League named their official all-league team today and three Raiders were included. On the first team was center Jim Otto. Making the second team were guard Don Manoukian and defensive back Eddie Macon. Selections were made by league coaches along with a handful of beat writers chosen by the league.

News of another meeting of team owners, scheduled for next week, appeared in the news today. The meeting’s agenda was, among other things, to discuss Eddie Erdelatz’s future with the team. Rumor had it that Chet Soda was planning to relinquish the role of general manager and he was quoted as saying Erdelatz “would be given every consideration” for the job.

United Press International

November 21, 1960

The AFL announced the results of the first five rounds of their college draft. The Raiders went with tackle Joe Rutgens, a former All-American selection out of Illinois with their first choice. The complete list of their picks follows:

  • 1st round, T Joe Rutgens, Illinois
  • 2nd round, HB George Fleming, Washington
  • 3rd round, G Myron Pottios, Notre Dame
  • 4th round, E Elbert Kimbrough, Northwestern
  • 5th round, QB Dick Norman, Stanford

Locally, Norman got the most attention for obvious reasons, but he was playing it cool. “I’ll play where the money is,” he said. “I know what I want and if they don’t give it to me I just won’t play. If the pros don’t meet my terms I won’t even bother to turn out. I’ll just go back to school.”

The teams would make a sixth pick in a couple of days with the remaining 24 rounds coming sometime in December.

In stadium news, it was announced that the meeting between city and county officials to make a decision about a site and a funding plan, scheduled for tomorrow, would be postponed until December 7. This would give the parties time to make further investigations into the legal questions surrounding the proposal.

Associated Press
Oakland Tribune


March 5, 1960

Further details filtering out of the league meetings fleshed out the allocation plan. Oakland was to select one player from each team per round. Teams would provide the first lists of protected and available players to Oakland by March 12 and the team would have ten days to make each round’s selections.

The league also announced they would observe a 75-mile blackout radius for the television broadcast of teams playing at home. The AFL had not yet completed a television pact, but were in negotiations, and planned a single league-wide contract. Revenue from the contract would be shared equally among the teams. This was in contrast to the NFL, whose teams negotiated individual contracts in each market.

Oakland Tribune

March 4, 1960

The AFL announced plans for what amounted to an expansion draft to stock the team. Each of the other seven teams were to protect eleven players. Oakland would be allowed five rounds of selections, seven players per round, for a total of 35 players. After each round, the teams would be allowed to make changes to their protected list if desired. The plan was approved on a 5-2 vote with the Titans and Chargers preferring a 22-man protected list. The league expected the first round to take place on or after March 20 with a week between each round.

Oakland Tribune

March 3, 1960

Early on the first morning of the league meeting in Oakland, commissioner Joe Foss and Oakland general manager Chet Soda made an announcement that 14 players had been assigned to the team:

George Blanch, a 6’0″, 195-pound halfback from Texas. A solid performer for the Longhorns in 1957 and 1958, he made UPI 2nd team All-Southwest Conference his junior year, but in his senior season, 1959, his performance faded on offense and he spent most of his time on the defensive side of the ball.

Read more “March 3, 1960”

March 1, 1960

The team hired 38-year-old Marty Feldman to join Eddie Erdelatz’s coaching staff. To take the job, Feldman left a job as an assistant at San Jose State, a position he had held since 1957. Prior to his stint there, he had been a head coach with Los Angeles Valley Junior College before move up to the assistant ranks at Stanford and New Mexico. His playing days had been spent as a guard at Stanford.

Meanwhile, preparations were underway for the upcoming league meetings. At the top of the agenda was the allocation of players to the Oakland club. Assistant AFL commissioner Milt Woodard said that all players drafted by the short-lived Minneapolis/St Paul club would have their rights assigned to Oakland, even those who had already signed with other clubs.

Oakland Tribune

February 23, 1960

Less than a month into the team’s existence it had its first change in ownership. Art Beckett was out and Roger Lapham, Jr., son of the former San Francisco mayor, was in. No reason for the switch was immediately given. In other news, the AFL announced it would hold a league meeting, March 3-4 in Oakland, to prepare the league schedule and discuss the allocation of players to the Oakland team.

Oakland Tribune

January 30, 1960

In another stunning reversal, the AFL awarded the eighth and final franchise to the city of Oakland. Much of the credit for the change went to Chargers owner Barron Hilton. Hilton, who had been out of town for previous votes, made a strong plea upon his return for choosing Oakland. And on the league’s fifth ballot, the California city was chosen unanimously. Commissioner Joe Foss gave three reasons for the decision: the creation of a west coast rival for Los Angeles, the Oakland community’s strong show of interest, and better geographic balance than would have been provided by a team in Atlanta. Foss also credited a strong presentation by Chet Soda, Wayne Valley, and in particular, Robert Osborne.

The complete ownership group was as follows:

Art Beckett – East Bay contractor

Harvey Binns – owner of The House of Harvey restaurant and Affiliated Government Employees’ Distributing Company stores, a membership-based discount department store chain

Don Blessing – stockbrocker and winner of gold medal at 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam as coxswain of eight-man rowing team

Charles Harney – Bay Area contractor and builder of the recently completed Candlestick Park

Ed McGah – Bay Area contractor and father of Ed McGah, Jr., a catcher with the Boston Red Sox for a couple of years in the mid-1940s

Robert Osborne – member of the Oakland city council

Chet Soda – real estate developer and construction magnate

Wayne Valley – Bay Area contractor Read more “January 30, 1960”

January 29, 1960

Perfectly illustrating the uncertainty surrounding information coming from the AFL’s meeting in Dallas, the Atlanta bid, in a complete reversal of opinion, now appeared to be the shoo-in choice. Lamar Hunt led the arguments by saying he wasn’t sure the Bay Area could support two teams. Late in the evening the vote went 5-2, Atlanta, with Boston and Los Angeles favoring Oakland. Then Boston was persuaded to vote for Atlanta and Barron Hilton remained as the lone Oakland holdout. George McKeon’s San Francisco proposal was now out of the running entirely.

Spurred into action by the balloting, the Oakland forces pulled out all the stops. Impassioned pleas for the city’s bid arrived in Dallas by telegram from mayor Clifford Rishell, congressman George Miller, and William Sparling of the Chamber of Commerce.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle

January 28, 1960

The news out of Dallas was the league owners had voted 5-2 in favor of Oakland over Atlanta. Unanimity was required for a decision. The meeting was scheduled to adjourn today and Lamar Hunt said subsequent votes might have to be done by telephone and it could be another ten days until a final decision was rendered. Oakland’s current advantage was thought to be the result of Barron Hilton’s advocacy, but Hunt said Hilton “wouldn’t hold out if he felt the remainder of the league wanted some other team.” Stadium concerns continued to be the main point of contention regarding the Oakland bid, while racial segregation in Atlanta was giving the owners pause there.

Back in Oakland the city council unanimously voted to start the process to get a stadium bond issue on the ballot, possibly as early as June. Council member Frank Youell also took time to respond to San Francisco mayor George Christopher’s less than enthusiastic support of an Oakland team playing temporarily in his city.

“We have never asked a favor of San Francisco since 1906,” Youell said, pointing out that Oakland had come to San Francisco’s aid during the earthquake. “I’m disappointed by that attack of Mayor Christopher. We’re not asking anything permanent. We only want a place for the Oakland team to play for two years. I can’t understand this as being neighborly.”

Oakland mayor Clifford Rishell chimed in with, “I want to remind Mayor Christopher that I had him as a guest at luncheon shortly after his election and we had a picture taken shaking hands, like hands across the bay. It was nothing but friendship then.”

Christopher’s initial response upon hearing of the rebukes was to chuckle and then added, “I certainly don’t mean to laugh at the earthquake or my fine friends in Oakland. It’s just that it happened so long ago, before I was born. They certainly are going back a long way. Mayor Rishell and Councilmen Youell and (Robert) Osborne are good friends of mine. I’m sure they would take the same position I have if our positions were reversed. These people are very eager to use our stadium but that haven’t talked to me about it. All I have is hearsay. The application will go to the Recreation and Park Commission and they will act on it. But there’s liable to be a $25,000 or $50,000 bill for converting to football at Candlestick and I don’t sign bills without asking questions.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle