November 3, 1960

Team co-owner Robert Osborne responded to Chet Soda’s remarks yesterday about moving the team. “This team will not leave Oakland. I promise it will stay here,” he said, and characterized some of his fellow owners as “crybabies who don’t like losing money that they had known and anticipated they were going to lose.”

Osborne went on, saying, “Soda has no authority to make a statement that the club plans to leave. It is our civic duty to keep the team in Oakland. Oakland has been good to us. We made our money here.”

He also weighed in on the rumor that Eddie Erdelatz was planning to decamp for the Giants. “There is no truth that he intends to leave this team,” he said. “He has a two-year contract and he has fielded a wonderful club from players nobody else wanted. I’m sure Eddie will be with us next year.”

Osborne and Wayne Valley were still lobbying the American League trying to get a baseball team for Oakland, giving further impetus to getting a stadium built in the area. Addressing upcoming talks with AL president Joe Cronin, he said, “I’m satisfied our talk will have good results and the owners of the new franchise will not alone be the Raider owners. It will be open to others as well.”

Concerning a stadium, the Oakland City Council received a report today from the head of Tudor Engineering who said a facility could be built at a cost of 17 to 21 million dollars. The building would have an 80,000-seat capacity for football and seat 48,000 for baseball. There would be space indoors for further amenities. Bowling alleys and rifle ranges were mentioned. City Manager Wayne Thompson said such a project would be funded by a combination of private investment and bonds issued by Alameda County.

Amid all the noise upstairs, the players and coaches continued to prepare for tomorrow night’s game against Boston. Erdelatz was worried his team might be too confident after beating the Titans last week. The Patriots were coming off a lopsided defeat by the Chargers and the Raider coach was hesitant to show his players films of the game. “Boston had a bad night,” Erdelatz said, “which happens to teams now and then, and I just didn’t want our kids thinking they had a patsy.” With wet and miserable weather in the area all week, the team had been practicing at indoor facilities where available.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle

November 2, 1960

A story appeared in the Boston American under the byline of Huck Finnegan that Eddie Erdelatz would be the coach of the New York Giants for the 1961 season. Without corroboration from any of the principals in the story, Finnegan stated, “This is fact. It will be denied by Erdelatz, the Giants, and the rest, but it will become reality at the close of the season.”

He based the conclusion on Erdelatz spending time with the Mara family, owners of the Giants, at last Sunday’s game against the Cardinals and said the deal had been brokered by Toots Shor, the well-connected New York restaurateur. Finnegan also said the Raider coach was dissatisfied with the poor fan support the team had received at Kezar Stadium and that this figured into the decision to leave. Read more “November 2, 1960”

October 31, 1960

The pursuit of San Leandro as a site for the team’s remaining home games this season was tabled a couple of days ago but was revived today. Contradicting Chet Soda’s announcement that the Raiders were no longer interested in playing on the Pacific High School campus, the team’s business manager, Bud Hastings, announced that he had put together the documents needed to request permission from the school district.

The San Leandro Chamber of Commerce was vigorously pushing the plan, while noting that it was a temporary measure to see if the Raiders could generate more support in the East Bay than they had in San Francisco. The proposal still needed to gain the approval of both Soda, who was on record as opposing it, and Wayne Valley, the San Leandro resident who initially brought up the idea. Presumably, the other owners would have to weigh in, too.

Hayward Daily News

October 29, 1960

While the players were taking a day off following the win over the Titans, a pair of controversies dominated Raider news today. The first concerned a report that Chet Soda had sold 50% of his share of the team to Frederick Sullivan, the president of a San Francisco travel agency. Sullivan, whose firm numbered the Raiders among its clients, was the source of the news and he also asserted that three other owners had sold part of their financial shares to other parties. These sales, according to Sullivan, did not include voting rights. Soda denied the story. However, the team’s PR director, Jack Gallagher, acknowledged there was a provision in the ownership agreement that allowed owners to sell a portion of their share as long as voting rights were not transferred with the sale. Sellers of partial shares did not have to reveal names of the buyers to the other owners.

The other controversy involved a dispute between Eddie Erdelatz and Titans owner Harry Wismer. What was being characterized in the press as a “feud”, began on the Wednesday before the game. Wismer had invited Erdelatz to a cocktail party thrown for the press. Erdelatz did not attend, citing previous obligations, but Wismer took it as a snub and called Erdelatz “uncooperative and a troublemaker.”

Erdelatz responded by saying, “Wismer himself is hardly the most popular man in (New York) and being on his ‘list’ doesn’t bother me a bit.”

Not letting matters stand there, Wismer, an old radio hand, said on the air that the Raiders had arrived late to the game and that Erdelatz missed the beginning altogether. Scotty Stirling, the Oakland Tribune’s beat writer verified that the Raider coach had accompanied the team to the game and that they had arrived on time.

Marty Feldman confirmed this, saying, “We were in the Polo Grounds at the normal time and Eddie was certainly with us.” Erdelatz was unavailable for comment.

In less incendiary news, Soda announced that the team was abandoning its pursuit of playing the last three home games of 1960 in the Pacific High School stadium in San Leandro.

Oakland Tribune

October 26, 1960

Baseball’s American League announced their expansion plans for the 1961 season and there were modest repercussions in Raider land. Two of the team’s owners, Robert Osborne and Chet Soda, were part of a group trying to entice the league to put a team in the East Bay. The Junior Circuit chose Los Angeles and Washington instead, with the latter going in as a replacement for the Senators, who were moving to the Twin Cities.

Osborne and Soda were, at least in part, hoping to create more of an incentive for the city of Oakland to help fund a stadium for the Raiders, but it was not to be, not immediately, anyway. Osborne was still hopeful that the American League might choose to add two more cities down the road and that one of them could be Oakland, or perhaps an existing team could move to the area.

“In that time, we could have a stadium built,” he said. “A few commitments not yet finalized are all that is holding the Oakland group back. If Oakland doesn’t get off the ground on building a stadium, I personally would love to see it built in southern Alameda County.”

Hayward Daily Review

October 17, 1960

A day after the team’s biggest win, the owners continued to be concerned by anemic attendance figures. Yesterday’s game drew 11,500, consistent with the numbers for previous home games, but still disappointing. Some members of the ownership group thought the $4.50 top price was simply too high.

“It’s too late to do anything about it this season,” said Don Blessing, “but next year I think we’ll quite definitely have to drop our prices. It’s obvious that people aren’t ready to pay the same price as for the 49ers,” and thought $3.00 to be about right.

Fellow owner Ed McGah wanted to go even lower. “I’d like to see the price cut in half to $2.25,” he said. “We expected to lose this year and maybe next year, but not this much.”

Chet Soda cautioned his colleagues not to be so hasty. “The team is starting to roll and that is our primary concern right now,” he said. “We have two deals now for fans to buy tickets at a reduced price and Sunday only 71 people took advantage of them. I think the attendance will pick up as the team catches on with people. We have an owner’s meeting scheduled tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll discuss the matter further, along with other subjects.” He also said he and his fellow owners were “real proud of the team and starting to smell roses.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

October 15, 1960

Eddie Erdelatz decided to give his players the day off before tomorrow’s game against the Patriots. “Our Saturday work is limited to 20 minutes and experience has taught us the drill isn’t necessary,” he said. “When a team comes off the road, say, on a Friday before the game, then a Saturday workout is in order. But we have been home all week and I think we’re better off without the Saturday practice.”

The Raiders coach confirmed that linebacker Riley Morris would miss the game. “Riley was kneed in the back when he ran with a kickoff return against Dallas,” Erdelatz explained, “and he will have to sit this one out.” Tom Louderback would slide over to Morris’ right linebacker spot and Larry Barnes would get the start at Louderback’s middle linebacker position. On offense, halfback Tony Teresa would see only spot action because of his back woes and Jack Larscheid would start the game in his stead.

Having seen poor attendance at Kezar Stadium since their first game in July, the Raider front office was anticipating improved numbers starting tomorrow. “We hope for a crowd of 15,000,” said general manger and co-owner Chet Soda, “but a lot depends on the weather.” Their best attendance total to date was the 12,703 figure for their regular season opener against Houston.

In public relations news, the team announced that Erdelatz and his staff would provide a pair of football clinics for local area kids in November. They would happen on the 19th and the 25st and were to take place at Triangle Field, adjacent to Kezar. The sessions were part of a project sponsored by former major league baseball players Mike Sabena and Lefty O’Doul in conjunction with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Board.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

October 11, 1960

General manager Chet Soda announced the resignation, “for personal reasons,” of public relations director Gene Perry today. No further explanation was given. Taking his place was sportswriter Jack Gallagher, who had been a columnist for the Oakland Tribune for better than a decade. The change would happen in a week or so.

The team also provided additional news about Riley Morris. He was reportedly recuperating nicely after a scare aboard the team’s plane on the return from Dallas. He had to be given oxygen when he reacted badly to shots given to him following a back injury suffered during the game and was taken to Merritt Hospital upon touchdown. His status for the Patriots game was still unknown.

Having been relatively quiet on the topic of the Raider quarterback controversy up to now, Eddie Erdelatz decided to speak at greater length today. He called Tom Flores and Babe Parilli “the best one-two quarterback combination in football” and said he wouldn’t trade them for anyone in any league.

“Singly, of course, there are quarterbacks just as good,” he said, “but as a tandem, you can’t find a more effective pair. In Houston, three weeks ago, we started Babe because Tommy had been having trouble regaining his form after suffering a shoulder injury. Babe had trouble making the club go, so we went with Tommy in the second half. Well, all Tommy did was direct a terrific touchdown march that gave us a 14-13 victory.

“Against Denver, the quarterbacks worked on a par. Last Sunday, in Dallas, it was Flores having first half troubles so Babe got the call in the final two periods. We scored three times, once on a well-directed drive, and pulled it out. That’s how it’s been all season. One week one guy looks great and the next week the other one comes through. I honestly can’t choose between them and I’m glad I don’t have to.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re both great and I’m real glad they’re on our side. As a pair, they give a team a great advantage when it comes to moving that ball.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

October 10, 1960

After returning home late last night the team was given the day off from practice, but at least some of the team were on hand to help kick off Raider Week in San Francisco. Mayor George Christopher hosted the ceremony starting at noon in Union Square. Before a crowd of around 500 fans, Christopher presented keys to the city to Tom Flores and Bob Dougherty, the team’s co-captains, saying his city was “where the atmosphere and the weather make it the best city in the country for football,” and added that he was “looking forward to the day the Raiders and the 49ers are playing the football world series in San Francisco.”

Team general manager Chet Soda followed, saying, “On behalf of the Raiders I want to thank all the dignitaries and people of San Francisco responsible for Raider Week and for having us here today.”

Head coach Eddie Erdelatz added his thanks, then introduced his coaching staff and asked for a cheer for line coach Ernie Jorge, who was still recuperating from a recent heart attack.

Afterward, press, dignitaries, and team members gathered for lunch at the Press and Union League Club.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Mateo Times

September 29, 1960

The big news today was a story that two members of the Raider ownership group, Chet Soda and Robert Osborne, were also part of a project hoping to bring an American League baseball team to the East Bay.

“We have a group of fellows who would be ready to finance the franchise if word of approval were given that a move would be made this way,” said Osborne, “but it would be on the basis that an American League franchise also would be shifted to the Los Angeles area.”

Soda pointed out that all was contingent on getting a new stadium. “It’s long range planning,” he said, “we don’t know exactly what we will be able to do. We know that to get a franchise, we first must have a stadium in which to play. But to get the stadium, we certainly are going to have to have assurance that we’ll get a franchise. I know we would draw at least 30,000 a game for our football team if we had a stadium. “Playing in San Francisco, the fans there owe us no loyalty and our Oakland-area fans just don’t want to drive that far.”

Hayward mayor RK Dettenrieder wanted to let people know his city was working on the problem. “The possibility of an American League baseball franchise along with an AFL franchise in the city limits of Hayward are being thoroughly explored,” he said, “it has been definitely determined that private capital is available at a low rate of interest to finance an adequate stadium in Hayward, and that’s a big hurdle to clear.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune