Like you, I didn’t get involved with the Raiders until I returned from the Air Force in 1964, and not very much until about 1967, when I purchased season tickets an experienced some really great games. Kathy and I attended Super Bowl II, when Oakland played Green Bay for the NFL Championship. I had mixed emotions for that game, as I was a Raider fan, but as you know, Travis Williams, who I play ball with at CCC in 64, was with Green Bay. Following the game we got to see many of the Raider and Green Bay ball players in the Miami Airport. It was a crazy place, with so many drunks running around the Airport. Some charter flights were cancelled due to the number of drunken passengers who didn’t show up for their flights. I’m sure that I have the tickets from that game somewhere, but I can’t put my fingers on it at this time.
When the Oakland A’s came to town, Kathy and I got season tickets to their games. Had the privilege to seeing Catfish Hunter pitch the perfect game, in which he also batted 3 for 4 with a double and bunt single that scored a run. As I recall it was only the 24th or 25th game for the Oakland A’s. We attended all of the home games for the 72 thru 74 seasons, and the World Series during those years. Our seats were in the second row behind the third base dugout, so we got to know the players up close. They seemed like kids to me, even though I was only in my 30’s. After Charley Finley sold the team, we cancelled our season tickets. However, Charley’s Cousin, Carl Finley who was the A’s Office Manager during Charlie’s ownership, came to work for me. Carl received season tickets and parking passes to all home games, which he received as part of the sale of the team. Carl would come into my office and ask what games Kathy and I would like to attend. He would give us four tickets plus the parking pass to whatever game we selected. The player’s family members sat in the same location, so I got to know Dennis Eckersley’s Dad real well, as he attended most every game. We would take friends and family to those games. Additionally, when the A’s were either in the playoffs or World Series during those years, Carl gave us a couple tickets for at least one or two games, including the1987 All Star Game. Like the Super Bowl game ticket stubs, I have stubs for the World Series and All Star Games hidden somewhere. Carl worked for me from1986 thru 1990, when he finally retired due to health issues. Afterward, he would call us from time to time to see how we were doing and give us an update on his life. He died a few years afterwards in Dublin, CA, where he lived with his daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. Carl was every bid as unique as Charlie.
In the late 1940’s my Mom & Dad would take me with them to watch Boxing and Wrestling at the Oakland Auditorium (later known as Kaiser Center). I remember seeing many of the great boxers of that day, including a bout between Joe Louis and Al Hoosman, in late 1949, as well as, Wrestler Gorgeous George on at least one occasion. I remember that it was hard for me to see what was going on during the bouts, as the cigarette smoke was so thick is was like a foggy day on the bay.
In the mid-60’s I attended several Bay Bomber Roller Derby matches with my girlfriend, which were held at the Richmond and Oakland Auditoriums.
I’ve been very fortunate to experience some very interesting sporting events and people over the many years.