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 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.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

January 30, 1960

In another stunning reversal, the AFL awarded the eighth and final franchise to the city of Oakland. Much of the credit for the change went to Chargers owner Barron Hilton. Hilton, who had been out of town for previous votes, made a strong plea upon his return for choosing Oakland. And on the league’s fifth ballot, the California city was chosen unanimously. Commissioner Joe Foss gave three reasons for the decision: the creation of a west coast rival for Los Angeles, the Oakland community’s strong show of interest, and better geographic balance than would have been provided by a team in Atlanta. Foss also credited a strong presentation by Chet Soda, Wayne Valley, and in particular, Robert Osborne.

The complete ownership group was as follows:

Art Beckett – East Bay contractor

Harvey Binns – owner of The House of Harvey restaurant and Affiliated Government Employees’ Distributing Company stores, a membership-based discount department store chain

Don Blessing – stockbrocker and winner of gold medal at 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam as coxswain of eight-man rowing team

Charles Harney – Bay Area contractor and builder of the recently completed Candlestick Park

Ed McGah – Bay Area contractor and father of Ed McGah, Jr., a catcher with the Boston Red Sox for a couple of years in the mid-1940s

Robert Osborne – member of the Oakland city council

Chet Soda – real estate developer and construction magnate

Wayne Valley – Bay Area contractor Read more “January 30, 1960”

January 28, 1960

The news out of Dallas was the league owners had voted 5-2 in favor of Oakland over Atlanta. Unanimity was required for a decision. The meeting was scheduled to adjourn today and Lamar Hunt said subsequent votes might have to be done by telephone and it could be another ten days until a final decision was rendered. Oakland’s current advantage was thought to be the result of Barron Hilton’s advocacy, but Hunt said Hilton “wouldn’t hold out if he felt the remainder of the league wanted some other team.” Stadium concerns continued to be the main point of contention regarding the Oakland bid, while racial segregation in Atlanta was giving the owners pause there.

Back in Oakland the city council unanimously voted to start the process to get a stadium bond issue on the ballot, possibly as early as June. Council member Frank Youell also took time to respond to San Francisco mayor George Christopher’s less than enthusiastic support of an Oakland team playing temporarily in his city.

“We have never asked a favor of San Francisco since 1906,” Youell said, pointing out that Oakland had come to San Francisco’s aid during the earthquake. “I’m disappointed by that attack of Mayor Christopher. We’re not asking anything permanent. We only want a place for the Oakland team to play for two years. I can’t understand this as being neighborly.”

Oakland mayor Clifford Rishell chimed in with, “I want to remind Mayor Christopher that I had him as a guest at luncheon shortly after his election and we had a picture taken shaking hands, like hands across the bay. It was nothing but friendship then.”

Christopher’s initial response upon hearing of the rebukes was to chuckle and then added, “I certainly don’t mean to laugh at the earthquake or my fine friends in Oakland. It’s just that it happened so long ago, before I was born. They certainly are going back a long way. Mayor Rishell and Councilmen Youell and (Robert) Osborne are good friends of mine. I’m sure they would take the same position I have if our positions were reversed. These people are very eager to use our stadium but that haven’t talked to me about it. All I have is hearsay. The application will go to the Recreation and Park Commission and they will act on it. But there’s liable to be a $25,000 or $50,000 bill for converting to football at Candlestick and I don’t sign bills without asking questions.”

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle

January 23, 1960

San Francisco mayor George Christopher opined at length about the possible consequences of having two professional football teams play in his city. “We should give serious study as to what degree we would be splitting the allegiance of fans so that neither team could last,” he said. “If it’s a question of a few extra dollars we shouldn’t risk these tremendous revenues we’ve been getting from the 49ers at Kezar. We should make a study as to how many areas have been able to adequately support two football teams.” 

Regarding a prospective team using either Kezar Stadium or Candlestick Park, he added, “As a resident of this city I believe I am entitled to my opinion, even though the rental is not my job. I believe that Stadium, Inc., and the Parks and Recreation Department, which has that responsibility, should give the matter very serious thought. I don’t know what it would cost to put Candlestick in proper condition for football by this fall. In view of the difficulties we have had out there, I think the economics should be carefully considered. I am reminded of the fable of the dog who looked into a brook while carrying a bone. He thought, ‘One bone’s fine, but two would be better,’ so he dropped the bone to retrieve the second bone, and had none. We don’t want that to happen to our football.” 

He was backed up by Alan Browne, the head of Stadium, Inc., the entity responsible for the management of Candlestick. “I would like to say the mayor’s opinion represents sound thinking and should be carefully considered even though we naturally would like to use Candlestick for as many uses as possible. It could be expanded to nearly double present capacity. It has been designed for football as well as baseball and eventually we feel it will house both sports. Kezar could then be used principally for high school and college sports.” 

Time for all parties was getting short. AFL commissioner Joe Foss confirmed that the league would meet and decide on the last team on the 26th, saying they would no longer wait around for the NFL to make up their minds on Minnesota. 

Oakland Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle