October 16, 1960

Final statistics

 

The Patriots hadn’t lost a game on the road and the Raiders hadn’t won at home, but that was all out the window at the end. It was probably the Raiders’ best game to date, but they were also lucky to get away with a 27-14 win over the Patriots on an unseasonably warm afternoon at Kezar Stadium.

Almost immediately, things began to go Oakland’s way. On the second play from scrimmage at the Raider 13, Jack Larscheid, starting in place of Tony Teresa, took a pitch from Tom Flores and took it 87 yards for a score. And if that weren’t a rousing enough start, Ron Burton fumbled on Boston’s first offensive play and Carmen Cavalli recovered for Oakland at the Patriot 31. Flores couldn’t move his team much closer and the score stayed 7-0 when Larry Barnes’s 40-yard field goal attempt came up short.

Most of the rest of the quarter was a punting duel. The Patriots did get close enough to give Gino Cappelletti a chance to kick one from 47 yards out, but his attempt was short, too. Frustrated with Flores’s inability to move his team after the first drive, Eddie Erdelatz put in Babe Parilli late in the quarter, but on his second play Bob Soltis picked him off and returned it back to the Raider 9. Three plays later, Alan Miller took it in to score from the 2, but Riley Morris, in the game despite numerous reports saying he wouldn’t play, blocked Cappelletti’s extra point attempt and the Raiders kept the lead. Read more “October 16, 1960”

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.

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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.”

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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.

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October 7, 1960

Coach Eddie Erdelatz continued to work his players hard in anticipation of Sunday’s game against the Texans. He had the team focus specifically on pass protection, believing that, while the receivers were doing their job to get open, the offensive line wasn’t giving Tom Flores and Babe Parilli enough time to find them. And the numbers bore that out. The Broncos sacked Raider quarterbacks five times last week and the team had given up 16 sacks on the season so far, in just four games. Erdelatz also thought that Dallas was particularly vulnerable against the pass and wanted to make sure his charges were prepared to exploit that weakness.

Oakland Tribune

October 1, 1960

The Raiders were putting the finishing touches on their preparation for tomorrow’s game against the Broncos, but according to Eddie Erdelatz, there weren’t going to be any significant personnel changes.

“How do you improve on a winner?” he asked, rhetorically.

Nevertheless, there were a couple of changes and the coaching staff was excited about them. Halfback Bob Keyes, who had been added to the team just before they left on the road trip, hadn’t had a chance to play against the Oilers, but Erdelatz commended his ability to get up to speed and looked forward to using him tomorrow.

The other recent addition, guard John Dittrich, was making a good impression, too. “Dittrich’s a real smart kid and after just one practice we decided he would be ready to go against the Broncos,” said line coach Marty Feldman, “He picked up our stuff right away and he reported in top condition, so I see no reason why he shouldn’t do a good job for us.”

In other good news, the training staff reported that Ron Warzeka and Dalton Truax would both be available to play after missing the Houston game because of unspecified injuries.

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September 30, 1960

The Raiders continued to prepare for the Broncos, working out at St Regis College today. The main focus of the team was making additions to the offensive game plan. “We just have to keep coming up with something new to catch these clubs by surprise,” said Eddie Erdelatz, “Our passing has been terrific and if we keep adding to our running we should create enough balance to keep us in the game. Denver has a tough defense, but we think we have some stuff that will keep the Broncos worried.”

The team also indicated that Tom Flores would start at quarterback on Sunday. He had been supplanted by Babe Parilli in the Houston game, but Flores’ performance off the bench in the win had earned him another shot at the top spot.

The Raiders would be away from home for another week and a half, but a fete was being planned for their return. San Francisco mayor George Christopher proclaimed the week of Oct 9-16 to be “Raider Week in San Francisco.” This was an effort to generate more support for the team in their current home and included a rally on the 10th at Union Square in San Francisco.

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September 27, 1960

Raider quarterback Tom Flores won AFL Offensive Player of the Week honors for his role in leading his team to a win over the Houston Oilers. Subbing for starter Babe Parilli, Flores completed seven of ten passes for 57 yards and the game-winning touchdown, a 14-yard toss to tight end Gene Prebola.

Meanwhile, the team was working out at Lowry Air Force Base, preparing for the Broncos.  But they were doing it without the aid of any game films. They were to have received films of Denver’s most recent two games, but neither had turned up so far. Assistant general manager Bud Hastings was still working to get something before Sunday’s game.

“If we don’t get a look at Denver’s pictures, we’ll be in trouble,” said Eddie Erdelatz, “the Broncos are one of two teams we have neither played nor scouted, so it will mean sending an unprepared team into action if we don’t get the movies.”

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September 25, 1960

Final statistics

  

The result was in doubt until the second-to-last play, but the Raiders got their first regular season win in franchise history by beating the Oilers 14-13. The day started when forecasted rain showers never arrived, but protesters outside the stadium did. Picketers stood outside Houston’s Jeppesen Stadium gates protesting racially-segregated seating arrangements. The actions may have had some effect as only 16,421 people took their seats, far less than the 25,000 expected or hoped for by the teams and the league.

Read more “September 25, 1960”

September 24, 1960

While concern for the recuperating assistant coach Ernie Jorge ruled the day, the Raiders held a light workout in advance of tomorrow’s game against the Oilers. Light for everyone, that is, except Eddie Erdelatz. While demonstrating technique in a tackling dummy drill, the Raider head coach broke the big toe on his right foot. The injury wasn’t expected to keep his off the sideline during the game, but it did promise to be uncomfortable for a while.

And in equally exciting news, the team announced a contest to find a water boy. The winner of the contest would be the one who found the most anagrams within the word “Raiders” and would see his first action on October 16 at Kezar Stadium against the Patriots.

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