December 29, 1960

Eddie Erdelatz finished second in the balloting for AFL coach of the year conducted by the United Press International. Voting was performed by 24 league writers with Houston’s Lou Rymkus getting nine votes to win. Erdelatz received six votes. The Chargers’ Sid Gillman finished in third with five votes and New York’s Sammy Baugh got two votes for fourth.

United Press International

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

December 4, 1960

And just like that, the Raiders’ playoff hopes were gone. After three quarters, they were clinging to a three-point lead, but the Chargers exploded for 27 points in the final 15 minutes and clinched at least a tie for the AFL Western Division with a 41-17 win.

The rain that had fallen in the Bay Area for most of the last week had tapered off a couple of days before the game, but the field was still a little soft and uncertain. The largest home crowd since the season opener, 12,061, showed up for the first football game ever played at Candlestick Park.

A scoreless first period was followed by a quick exchange of scores early in the second. The Chargers broke the ice first when Jack Kemp threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Royce Womble. The Raiders returned the favor on Billy Lott’s two-yard run. Late in the period Tom Flores connected with Charlie Hardy for a 10-yard touchdown and Kemp threw to Don Norton for a 21-yarder. The teams were tied at 14 at the half. Read more “December 4, 1960”

December 3, 1960

Beating the Raiders 52-28 last weekend came at a high cost for the Chargers. A pair of linebackers, Paul Maguire and Ron Botchan, were injured and Maguire was out for the rest of the season. Botchan was expected to be able to play in tomorrow’s game, but his durability was in question. To restore depth at the position, Chargers head coach Sid Gillman signed Al Bansavage off the team’s taxi squad and Chet Soda immediately cried foul.

Bansavage had been drafted by Minneapolis in November of last year and the AFL awarded his signing rights to the Raiders along with his fellow draftees. He had signed with the NFL’s Colts, but had been released. The Cowboys picked him up, but he failed the physical. At some point, Soda had offered him a contract, but Bansavage had turned it down. While on the Chargers taxi squad and not having signed an official player contract, the Raiders hadn’t said anything, but when Gillman activated him to play against Oakland, Soda wasn’t having it and lodged a protest with the league office. The Raider general manager said he expected to hear something from commissioner Joe Foss at some point later in the day.

Hayward Daily Review
Oakland Tribune

November 27, 1960

The Raiders had a chance to put themselves in a position for the stretch run and crashed hard. In front of 15,075 fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Chargers thumped the Raiders 52-28. Quarterback Jack Kemp connected for long touchdowns to Don Norton and Paul Lowe in the first quarter and the Chargers scored twice on the ground – runs by Kemp and Howie Ferguson — and kicked a field goal in the second. The Raiders scored just once on a Jetstream Smith one-yard run in the first and the teams went into the locker room at halftime with the Chargers up, 31-7. Read more “November 27, 1960”

November 26, 1960

Grim news appeared the morning before the Raiders were to play the Chargers in Los Angeles. Starting end Ralph Anderson was found dead at his girlfriend’s apartment following an evening spent at the movies with teammate Ron Botchan and their dates. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Anderson was a diabetic and his position coach, Al Davis, said he had had a diabetic attack in the recent past.

The Chargers team was in shock. They tried to have a pregame practice but had to stop after 15 minutes. “We couldn’t go through with it,” said head coach Sid Gillman. “I don’t know how we’ll be able to get these boys in any kind of mental shape at all for Sunday’s game against Oakland. Ralph’s death has put 34 other players and five coaches in a state of shock that will take days to overcome.”

This would be the second time this season the Raiders were to face an opponent following the death of one of their team members. In October, the Raiders played the Titans after guard Howard Glenn died following a neck injury suffered against the Oilers.

Despite the news, the game would go on and the teams had much to play for. “If we win, we’re tied with LA and then we meet them at home,” said Eddie Erdelatz. “If we lose, we’re two games out and in this tight race that could be too much to make up with just three games left after tomorrow. I’m real proud of this team. They’ve been bouncing back all year and have fought hard in every game. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to and win, lose, or draw against LA, I think we have a great outfit.”

Talking of the Chargers, who were coming off a 32-3 loss to the Bills, Erdelatz said, “Buffalo was really up for the game. We had thumped them pretty good the week before and they went into the Charger game with blood in their eyes. I don’t think LA was prepared for such a tough contest. This week, it is the Chargers who are near the boiling point, which means they’ll be tougher than usual for us.”

Three Raider players — Jetstream Smith, Riley Morris, and Billy Reynolds — were looking forward to taking on the team that had rejected them in the preseason. Reynolds had particularly aggrieved tale to tell. “It’s not so much that they cut me,” said Reynolds, “but the day before they put me on waivers, I checked with coach Sid Gillman on my status. I wanted to know if it would be wise for me to bring my family out West. Sid told me, ‘Sure, Bill, bring ‘em out,’ and then the next day, I’m on waivers.”

Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
Oakland Tribune
United Press International

September 6, 1960: View from the Future

It’s a truism and probably a truth that we can’t tell much about football teams from their preseason performances, but it might have been a little less true for the AFL in 1960. With every team consisting of players who, in almost all cases, had never played together before, for coaches they’d never played for, there was plenty of uncertainty, and lots of incentive to find out just what they had before competing for keeps. Eddie Erdelatz, just as an example, said explicitly that he was playing to win and there’s no reason not to think that at least some of the other coaches felt the same way. It sure looked like Hank Stram and Sid Gillman felt that way. The Texans and the Chargers had gone undefeated in the preseason, affirming a sense among league observers, developed before the exhibition schedule began, that they, along with the Oilers were the class of the league. The jury was still out on Houston, though. At 2-3, they were no better than the Raiders at this point. The surprise was Boston at 4-1. No one expected much from them going in, so it would be interesting to see if they could translate their success into the regular season. Also-rans were the Bills and Titans at 1-4 and the Broncos at 0-5.

Read more “September 6, 1960: View from the Future”

August 19, 1960

It was one of those late August evenings in San Francisco where the first hint of autumn chill reminded everyone that summer doesn’t last forever. A stiff breeze off the water was present as usual, but there was a thick fog filling the bowl of Kezar Stadium that refused to budge. It was hard to know if it was the weather that kept people away, or if it was simple disinterest, but just 6,521 curiosity-seekers came out to watch the Chargers play the Raiders in the first meeting of these California rivals.

Read more “August 19, 1960”

August 18, 1960

The Raiders finished preparations for tomorrow night’s game against the Chargers. The team began to work new quarterback Babe Parilli into the system, but he was not likely to be up to speed enough to play against Los Angeles. As in the previous two contests, Tom Flores was expected to carry the load for most of the game, if not the whole thing.

Read more “August 18, 1960”

July 9, 1960

The Raiders added another quarterback to the roster, signing 5’11”, 185 pound Sandy Lederman just prior to the opening of training camp. Lederman played his college ball at the University of Washington and had a somewhat rocky tenure there. A passer of significant physical gifts, he suffered a broken leg in 1954 that put a premature end to his junior season and the following year he was temporarily booted from the team by head coach John Cherburg because of “attitude” troubles. He went unselected in the 1956 draft but did participate in Chicago Bears training camp before washing out with an injury. Upon recovery, he spent time with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian leagues, but disappeared entirely from the pro ranks shortly thereafter. Before showing up in Oakland he had competed for a job with the Chargers, but was eventually cut by head coach Sid Gillman.

Oakland Tribune
Long Beach Press Democrat