December 4, 1960 – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

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1960 chargers vs. raidersI picked up a neat old wire photo the other day.  The photo is from the December 4, 1960, game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park.  The caption reads:

“Oakland Raiders’ Bill Reynolds (HB-40) is smothered by Los Angeles Chargers’ Emil Karas (LB-56) after taking a pass from quarterback Tom Flores in the 2nd quarter of their game at Candlestick Park here 12/4.  Coming up to give Karas a hand is Jim Sears (DB-26).  The Chargers won the game, and a tie for the Western Div., title, by a score of 41-17.”

The Raiders record fell to 5-7 after this game, and the Chargers held strong at 8-4.  Oakland split their two final games to end the season at 6-8.  The Chargers won their final games (part of a four-game winning streak) and finished the season with a 10-4 record and the western division title.  The Chargers then played the Houston Oilers in the first AFL championship game, which they lost by a score of 24-16.

It is interesting to note that Emil Karas might be fined for this tackle today, as it appears that he has an unnecessary elbow aimed directly for Reynolds’ head.  How the game has changed.



Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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6 Responses to December 4, 1960 – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

  1. Pete Lowry says:

    Emil is aiming that elbow at a Raider. He should be given a raise, not a fine. hehe

  2. Doug says:

    what strikes me about the photo is the long grass and how chewed up the field is. Now the game was during the off seanson but had it been first three weeks the SF Giants would not have been happy. lists the game as being played on Astro turf, I think not.

  3. Eddie Arminio says:

    you’re right on Jeff, dirt on the uniforms, and high blacktop cleats, what a beautiful sight. Also in that era, and nobody got sick, were players drinking water out of 5 gallon buckets with a soup ladle. There weren’t to many prima donnas back then.

  4. Tom says:

    Jim Sears one of only 24 players, to win the WJ Voit Memorial Award, the award from 1951 to 1978 was presented annually by Helms Athletic Foundation. Sears was the second recipient to win the award in Q1951 Bill McColl was first. Runner up in 1951 was “The King” Hugh McElhenny.

  5. Tom says:

    Todd this is a welcome addition to any collection, Emil could hit hard and run fast and and send backs.. poor Reynolds flying, or was Reynolds falling after being hit and is Emil coming over before Reynolds hits the ground at Candlestick live ball action. The outfield in Candelstick believe it or not was chair link fence and looks like it in the photo. Willie Mays hit em over the fences and made plays on and off it

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