July 22, 1961

Training camp opened today for the Raiders with 62 players, including 26 rookies, reporting to the Palomar Hotel in Santa Cruz for physical examinations. Per Scotty Stirling of the Tribune, the team was much more organized this year, compared to last year.

Unlike last year, when travel plans were made almost in the moment, this year the team hired a company called Random Services to manage their transportation needs. “We had one plane load each from the East Coast, Midwest, Southwest, and Los Angeles,” said company president Fred Sullivan. Plans were in place more than a month ago and Sullivan also said all “transportation, hotel, and practice field arrangements” for this season’s road trips were also complete.

As Sullivan pointed out, “Last season the club did its travel on a game-to-game basis and there were a few mixups. That won’t happen this year.”

Camp cuts

Two players were placed on waivers today: offensive tackle Dalton Truax and defensive tackle Don Deskins. Two others, defensive tackle Ron Warzeka and end Fred Tunnicliffe, informed the team they would not report to camp. Warzeka, Truax, and Deskins all had extensive playing time last season. Per the Chronicle, Warzeka cited a shin injury as his reason for not reporting.

March 16, 1961

The Raiders announced four free agent signings today: Bo Bankston, John Freim, Charley Moore, and Fred Tunnicliffe.

Bankston, at 5’10”, 200 pounds out of New Mexico, was signed to play defensive back. All All-Skyline Conference player for two years running with the Lobos, he tried out with the Steelers last year at linebacker, but was deemed too light to play at the position and was released prior to the season.

Freim, 23, was a 6’3”, 225-pound tackle from Adams State in Colorado. He earned Little All-America honorable mention for the Grizzlies last year.

This was Moore’s second go-round with the Raiders. The 6’4”, 220-pound tight end out of Northeastern State in Oklahoma had signed on August 2 last year, but was waived at the end of the month.

The speedy Tunnicliffe played end for UC-Santa Barbara setting NAIA records for receptions and receiving yards in a season in 1959. His head coach with the Gauchos that year was former Raider assistant Ed Cody. The 21-year-old stood 5’9” and weighed 175 pounds.

More AFL stats

The league released another batch of stats today, this time covering punt returns. Among teams, the Texans led the league with 15.0 yards per return. The Raiders were dead last at 5.8. Abner Haynes of Dallas led individuals with his 15.4 average. Jack Larscheid finished third bringing back 12 punts for 106 yards and an 8.8 average.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner