Homegrown Heroes: The Original Raiders
When the Oakland Raiders began in 1960, they featured several players from the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley on their roster. Though not all players had a tremendous impact on the game, each left their own mark on the game of football because they were an original Raider. These are their stories.
Wayne Crow was born on May 5, 1938 in Coolidge, Arizona. Crow began his career at Cal Berkley as a running back, rushing for 210 yards while averaging 4.7 yards per carry as a junior in 1958. He started the next season as a quarterback, completing 38.8% of his passes for 379 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 223 yards, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. After the Golden Bears ended the 1959 season 2-8, Crow signed with the Oakland Raiders for their inaugural season.
Crow didn’t take a snap in 1960 while playing behind Tom Flores. The following year, he completed six of his ten passes for 165 yards. He added 490 rushing yards and two touchdowns to his stat line that year. After 1961, he signed with the Buffalo Bills backing up Jack Kemp. He completed two of his four passes for 16 yards in 1962 and rushed for 589 yards and one touchdown in his first year in Buffalo. He only rushed six times for six yards in 1963 and retired after the season.
Tom Flores was born on March 21, 1937 in Sanger, California. He played quarterback at Sanger Union High School before moving on to Fresno City College. On top of being an exceptional player, he was a fantastic student and earned an academic scholarship to the College of the Pacific. After college, he bounced around the next few years in semi-professional and professional football. Finally, in 1960, he signed with the Raiders. He played decently as a rookie, winning five games while tossing 12 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.
The next two years were tough for Flores as he went 2-12 in 1961 and he missed the entire 1962 season while his teammates went 1-13. The following year, Al Davis joined the organization and soon the Raiders began to win games. By 1966, Tom Flores hit his peak, throwing 24 touchdowns while leading the team to an 8-5-1 record. It was the beginning of the end of his time as the Raider’s quarterback and by 1969 he was ending his career as Len Dawson’s backup in Kansas City.
After earning a Super Bowl ring as a backup in Kansas City, Tom Flores returned to Oakland and began a long career as a coach with the Raiders. He was an assistant coach throughout the 1970’s and earned another Super Bowl ring in 1976. By 1979 he was the head coach and the following year he led the team to another Super Bowl triumph. He earned another Super Bowl ring in 1983 with the Raiders and several years later moved on to Seattle. The Seahawks were never a contender with him at the helm and Flores retired from coaching following the 1994 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021.
Charlie Hardy was born on November 7, 1933 in Monroe, Louisiana, later moving to Oakland, California when he was still young. After graduating from Oakland Tech, he attended San Jose State University where he led the team with 13 receptions as a senior end and was awarded the Mr. Downfield Award as the team’s best downfield blocker. After graduation in 1955, Hardy had a hard time getting into professional football. Though he was briefly signed by the 49ers in 1958, he was cut during training camp and had to continue waiting. Eventually, in 1960 he signed with the Raiders. At long last, Charlie Hardy was a professional football player.
In his first year, Hardy caught 24 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns. The following year, he again caught 24 passes for 337 yards and four touchdowns. After a six reception, 80 yard 1962 campaign, Charlie Hardy retired from the game. He passed away on May 9, 2001.
Wayne Hawkins was born on June 17, 1938 in Jordan, Montana and moved to Redding, California when he was young. After graduating from Shasta High School, Hawkins attended the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California. After graduating from College of the Pacific in 1960, Hawkins was drafted by the Denver Broncos of the newly formed AFL. The Broncos soon released him and he then signed with the Raiders.
Beginning in 1960, he lined up next to center Jim Otto as a right guard, staying in that spot until l1969. He saw the high’s and low’s of the early years of the Raiders from the 1-13 season to that magical run to the Super Bowl in 1967. Over the course of his career, Hawkins was named an AFL All-Star five times. He retired after the 1969 season and now works in real estate.
L.C. Joyner was born on July 2, 1933 in Canton, Mississippi, later moving to Pittsburgh, California when he was young. After graduating from Pittsburgh High School, he attended East Contra Costa Junior College where he played as a halfback and a cornerback. The 49ers drafted him in 1956 and the Raiders drafted him in 1960. Never getting much of a chance, Joyner lasted one year with both organization before retiring following his lone year in Oakland. He passed away on February 10, 2006.
Jack Larscheid was born on May 10, 1933 in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. The kick returner played at the College of the Pacific before signing with the Raiders in 1960. He totaled 397 yards rushing and a touchdown as a rookie and added 187 yards receiving and another touchdown during that inaugural year. He only touched the ball eight times in 1961 and was cut after the season. He passed away on February 5, 1980.
Paul Larson was born on March 19, 1932 in Turlock, California. After throwing for 1,431 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at Cal, Larson was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in 1954. He didn’t see any action at quarterback until 1957 when he completed six of his 14 passes for 61 yards. He was cut after the season and signed with the Raiders in 1960. He only appeared in one game, never throwing a pass, and retired following that year.
Tom Louderback was born on March 5, 1933 in Petaluma, California. After playing linebacker and on the offensive line at San Jose State, Louderback was drafted by Washington in 1955. By 1958, he was in Philadelphia, lasting two years there. After the 1959 season, he was released by the Eagles, missing his lone opportunity at an NFL championship. He returned to the Bay Area where the Raiders were forming a team.
In his first year as a Raider, Louderback intercepted two passes for seven yards. In 1961, his last year as a Raider, Louderback intercepted one pass, returning it 46 yards for the only touchdown of his career. He signed with Buffalo the following year but only appeared in two games and retired after the season ended. Tom Louderback died on December 8, 2020.
Eddie Macon was born on March 7, 1927 in Stockton, California. He starred on the track team in high school and was drafted in the US Army in 1945 towards the end of World War II. After spending seven months in Yokohama, Japan at the conclusion of the war, Macon joined the San Joaquin Delta College track team. He transferred to the College of the Pacific where he went out for the football team, becoming the Tiger’s first African-American player. He proved to be a quick study, scoring 34 touchdowns in three years.
The Chicago Bears noticed his accomplishments on the field and drafted him in 1952. Macon started two games in his rookie year, appearing in 11, and rushed for 194 yards and one touchdown. The following year he started all but one of the Bear’s games but only gained 154 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns. He was cut after the season and spent the rest of the decade playing in Canada. After starting all 14 games at cornerback, Macon retired from the game. He worked as a longshoreman for the next 40 years and passed away on April 19, 2017.
Don Manoukian was born on June 9, 1934 in Merced, California. After graduating from Stanford in 1957, he played for the Salinas Packers of the Pacific Football Conference and went to training camp with the 49ers in 1958. Neither venture panned out and in 1960, the guard played with the Raiders in their inaugural season.
He lasted just one year in Oakland before embarking on a career in professional wrestling, under the name “Don the Bruiser”. In nine years, he won two tag team championships in the Pacific Northwest Wrestling, including the 1964 heavyweight championship. He retired from the sport in 1967 and entered the world of real estate. Don Manoukian passed away on September 23, 2014.
Bill Striegel was born on May 28, 1936 in Easton, Kansas, moving to Chico, California when he was young. After graduating from Chico Senior High School, Striegel attended the College of the Pacific where he was a starter on both sides of the line. After graduation, he was drafted by the Eagles in 1958. However, he suffered an injury in practice for the College All-Star Game and had to wait a year before making his professional debut. He made the team in 1959 and appeared in 12 games as a backup guard
1960 was a very interesting year for Bill Striegel. He was first drafted by the expansion Dallas Cowboys where he attempted to make the team as either a linebacker or defensive end. It didn’t work out and he was released before the season began. Shortly after that disappointment, Striegel signed with the Raiders who were also playing in their inaugural season.
He made the team as an offensive tackle, appearing in one game before being cut in October. That same month, he signed with the Boston Patriots as a linebacker, staying with the team for the rest of the season. He was released by the team at the end of the season and retired as a player. He later worked as a scout for the expansion Atlanta Falcons in 1965. Bill Striegel died on July 23, 1992.
Tony Teresa was born on December 8, 1933 in Pittsburg, California. After graduating from San Jose State, he played for the BC Lions of the CFL in 1956 and 1957 as a running back. He returned to the Bay Area in 1958 when he played for the 49ers. He didn’t touch the ball once in his lone season with the 49ers and was out of football in 1959. By 1960, the Raiders were forming and signed him. He had his greatest professional success in their inaugural season, rushing for 608 yards, receiving 393 yards and scoring 10 total touchdowns. He was released after that season and passed away on October 16, 1984.