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

November 26, 1960

Grim news appeared the morning before the Raiders were to play the Chargers in Los Angeles. Starting end Ralph Anderson was found dead at his girlfriend’s apartment following an evening spent at the movies with teammate Ron Botchan and their dates. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Anderson was a diabetic and his position coach, Al Davis, said he had had a diabetic attack in the recent past.

The Chargers team was in shock. They tried to have a pregame practice but had to stop after 15 minutes. “We couldn’t go through with it,” said head coach Sid Gillman. “I don’t know how we’ll be able to get these boys in any kind of mental shape at all for Sunday’s game against Oakland. Ralph’s death has put 34 other players and five coaches in a state of shock that will take days to overcome.”

This would be the second time this season the Raiders were to face an opponent following the death of one of their team members. In October, the Raiders played the Titans after guard Howard Glenn died following a neck injury suffered against the Oilers.

Despite the news, the game would go on and the teams had much to play for. “If we win, we’re tied with LA and then we meet them at home,” said Eddie Erdelatz. “If we lose, we’re two games out and in this tight race that could be too much to make up with just three games left after tomorrow. I’m real proud of this team. They’ve been bouncing back all year and have fought hard in every game. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to and win, lose, or draw against LA, I think we have a great outfit.”

Talking of the Chargers, who were coming off a 32-3 loss to the Bills, Erdelatz said, “Buffalo was really up for the game. We had thumped them pretty good the week before and they went into the Charger game with blood in their eyes. I don’t think LA was prepared for such a tough contest. This week, it is the Chargers who are near the boiling point, which means they’ll be tougher than usual for us.”

Three Raider players — Jetstream Smith, Riley Morris, and Billy Reynolds — were looking forward to taking on the team that had rejected them in the preseason. Reynolds had particularly aggrieved tale to tell. “It’s not so much that they cut me,” said Reynolds, “but the day before they put me on waivers, I checked with coach Sid Gillman on my status. I wanted to know if it would be wise for me to bring my family out West. Sid told me, ‘Sure, Bill, bring ‘em out,’ and then the next day, I’m on waivers.”

Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
Oakland Tribune
United Press International

November 13, 1960

Giving what head coach Eddie Erdelatz called their best defensive effort of the season, the Raiders beat the Bills 20-7 to even their record at 5-5.

Before the game there was still noise about a pair of NFL games being televised in the area before the Raiders’ 1:30 start. After Chet Soda complained, Lamar Hunt was reportedly planning to lodge a formal protest with the NFL. The NFL’s commissioner Pete Rozelle was unmoved. “The new league appears to have a fixation that every action and policy of the National Football League is designed to impair their operation,” he said. “If they would expend more time and energy in the development of their own league, and less time worrying about the NFL, they would be much more successful than they apparently have been so far.” Rozelle added that the league had no control over broadcasts, explaining that once they sold the rights to networks, the league has “no control over utilization of these rights other than blacking out NFL cities from other NFL telecasts when our clubs play at home. This is in accordance with a 1953 decision of a US district court in Philadelphia. Telecasts of a game involving teams in the new league are beamed into all NFL cities when our teams play at home.” Read more “November 13, 1960”

October 25, 1960

The Raiders returned to the practice field today to prepare for Friday night’s game against the Titans. There wasn’t much new to report, though Eddie Erdelatz took a little time to discuss the Bills game. He said that the wet weather contributed to some of his team’s mistakes, but also thought his team simply “didn’t play as a unit.” In personnel news, he said that newcomer Billy Reynolds would see more work against New York than he did against Buffalo, primarily at the flanker spot, but that he would likely play other positions as well.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

October 23, 1960

Final statistics

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz called it “far and away our worst performance” and he wasn’t kidding. On a damp, blustery day in Buffalo, the Bills hit on big play after big play and thumped the Raiders 38-9. The lowering, gray skies and steady light rain kept attendance down to a paltry 8,876, but those who did show up saw their team at peak performance.

The Raiders, at 3-3, came into the game as one of the hottest teams in the AFL and a win, coupled with a Boston win over the Broncos, would move them to the top spot in the league’s Western Division. The Bills, at 1-4, entered the game with the league’s top defense, but with an offense that hadn’t found much success. They had made a change at quarterback just a week ago, picking up Johnny Green, a Steelers castoff, and started him in place of Tommy O’Connell, an old Browns hand. In that game the Bills lost a tight one to the Titans, but head coach Buster Ramsey was encouraged by his play and planned to keep him in there against Oakland. Read more “October 23, 1960”

October 22, 1960

The team arrived in Buffalo after a red-eye flight during which sleep was fugitive, at best, for most players. Upon arrival, the players were instructed to hit the hay and get some shut-eye. When they woke up they learned there was a new face in the ranks.

The Raiders announced the signing of 5’11”, 200-pound halfback Billy Reynolds. The former University of Pittsburgh Panther had broken in with the Browns in 1953 and his rushing, receiving, and special teams play earned him the NFL’s rookie of the year award. The following year he was an important member of Cleveland’s championship run, but he spent the next two years in the air force. When he returned for the 1957 campaign he began to suffer a series a nagging injuries that sapped his once-formidable speed and was traded to the Steelers the following summer. He played only sparingly in Pittsburgh and ended up in Canada for 1959. He spent the summer of 1960 in Chargers camp but they let him go just before the season started. The Raiders, looking for more backfield and special teams depth, decided to take a flyer on him.

To make room on the roster, they put Bob Keyes on waivers. The seldom-used Keyes had played just three games for Oakland, rushing once for seven yards, catching one pass for 19 yards, and returning one punt for five yards.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times