July 26, 1961

Jim Otto dropped a bombshell on the team today by announcing he would play out his option after the season and seek a spot in the NFL next year, according to George Ross of the Tribune. Unsurprisingly, money was at the heart of it. He and the Raiders were “several thousand dollars” apart from an agreement and Otto said he wasn’t “going to budge.” He also said he knew of three NFL teams that would pay him what he was asking for.

Otto, who made $8,000 last year, said he “was disappointed after winning the all-league honor last season. This usually brings a bonus from the club, $500 to $1,000 from some clubs. I got just one thing, a (newspaper) clipping somebody sent me. I want to be able to retire with something when I finish playing. It’s not just the salary, either. It’s a matter of off-season opportunities, too.

“We have a great bunch of guys on this club and this is the best coaching staff I’ve ever played under. But this is, after all, a profession. I had to prove I could make the team last year and after making it, I went out to prove I was the best. I think that’s worth a good raise.”

Bud Hastings, who was also trying to come to an agreement with Tom Louderback, said, “We’re still trying to work the thing out. We’ll talk to him (Otto) in a couple of days.”

Thinning the crew

Raider training camp was in full swing today and a new series of cuts were in. Five men, all of whom where free agent signings during the offseason were placed on waivers: running back Bo Bankston, defensive back Clive Bullian, linebacker Dick Carlsen, defensive back Grover Garvin, and defensive back Ed Whittle. Also, the team finally got in touch with defensive lineman Ramon Armstrong, who told them he was retiring from football to help run his father’s ranch back home in Texas.

Armstrong’s decision left the Raiders short on both lines. Eddie Erdelatz said, “We’ll have to figure on some position changes to strengthen both spots,” and suggested that some prayer wouldn’t hurt, either.

Camp news

Scotty Stirling’s camp report in the Tribune included news of a “near fight” between Al Bansavage and Bob Coolbaugh, and Tommy Kalmanir’s praise for the work of running backs Oneal Cuttery, Alan Miller, Jetstream Smith, and Tony Teresa. Joe Cannavino, Wayne Crow, and Bob Voight also looked good.

Stirling said Erdelatz was already installing his new defense and that he was pleased at how fast the veterans were catching on. “We are throwing the stuff at them fast,” he said, “and they seem to like the change.”

Linebacker Bob Dougherty concurred, “Coach Erdelatz is doing a lot more coaching with the defense than he did last year and I’m confident we’ll be a lot tougher.”

Read more “July 26, 1961”

January 17, 1961

With the ownership drama behind them the Raiders announced the signing of three new players today.

First was their 13th-round draft pick, 6’1”, 195-pound end Jerry Burch from Georgia Tech. A sixth-round pick of the expansion Minnesota Vikings in the NFL, player personnel director Wes Fry said, “He has fine speed and is an exceptional competitor.” Burch captained the Yellow Jacket squad in 1960 was a skilled punter, nailing a 77-yard boot in 1958.

Next was their pick in the 15th round, 6’4”, 200-pound end Bob Coolbaugh from the University of Richmond. Fry called him “one of the top pass-catching ends in the East,” and said, “He has excellent speed and maneuverability and is difficult to cover.” He had been the 12th-round choice of the Redskins. Coolbaugh was an all-conference performer in his senior year with the Spiders.

Last was 5’6”, 189-pound free agent halfback Oneal Cuttery. A San Jose State Spartan in his college days, he was team MVP in 1959, his last season there and had attended Castlemont High School in Oakland.

Georgia Tech media guide
Hayward Daily Review
Pro Football Reference
San Francisco Chronicle
University of Richmond media guide

 

December 5, 1960

Raider general manager Chet Soda reaffirmed his protest with the league regarding the Chargers’ use of Al Bansavage in yesterday’s game. Asserting that Bansavage was an ineligible player, Soda wanted Joe Foss to declare the game a forfeit, which would put the Raiders back in the playoff hunt. The AFL commissioner said he probably wouldn’t be able to give it any attention until after the draft.

Soda added that “Foss told me Saturday that he called Gillman and informed him about his decision in the Bansavage case. Then yesterday after the game I talked with Gillman and he said he’d talked with Foss. Gillman said he tried to reach me about the matter before the game, but that’s all he said.”

Speaking of the draft, the league conducted the final 24 rounds by phone. The Raiders’ picks follow:

  • 7th Ray Purdin HB Northwestern
  • 8th Tom Watkins HB Iowa State (from Denver)
  • 8th Richard Price G Mississippi
  • 9th Lowndes Shingler QB Clemson
  • 10th Ken Peterson T Utah
  • 11th Doug Mayberry FB Utah State
  • 12th Robert Schmitz G Montana State
  • 13th Gerald Burch E Georgia Tech
  • 14th Clark Miller T Utah State
  • 15th Bob Coolbaugh E Richmond
  • 16th Chuck Lamson HB Wyoming
  • 17th Joe Novsek T Tulsa
  • 18th Joe Krabowski HB Illinois
  • 19th Charles Fuller HB San Francisco State
  • 20th Preston Powell FB Grambling
  • 21st Mike Jones QB San Jose State
  • 22nd Blayne Jones G Idaho State
  • 23rd Roger Fisher C Utah State
  • 24th Jack Novak G Miami (FL)
  • 25th Paul Yanke E Northwestern
  • 26th Dean Hinshaw T Stanford
  • 27th Clair Appledoorn E San Jose State
  • 28th Dave Grosz QB Oregon
  • 29th Ed Morris T Indiana
  • 30th William Face FB Stanford

 

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle