Raymond Chester was selected in the first round of the 1970 NFL draft and became an instant star, winning NFL rookie of the year honors after catching 42 passes for 556 yards and seven touchdowns. He also formed a friendship with owner Al Davis which lasted until Davis’s death in 2011. Chester was traded to the Baltimore colts in 1973 but was traded back to the raiders after the 1977 season. In 1979, he recorded career highs with 58 catches for 712 yards and was an important part of the raiders’ 27-10 super bowl XV win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He retired from the NFL after the 1981 season, rather than go with the team to Los Angeles. He came out of retirement briefly to play for the USFL Oakland Invaders in 1983, primarily to see how the organization worked. As a member of the Oakland coliseum board, he worked to bring the Raiders back to Oakland in 1994. An avid golfer, Chester was general manager of the Lake Chabot golf course for 20 years and now serves in an advisory capacity. Having lived in the bay area for most of his adult life, Chester remains amazed at how many great athletes have lived or played here. “I feel overwhelmed by the chance to join them,” he said.
Inducted into the BAY AREA SPORTS HALL OF FAME – 2016
Narrative by Glenn Dickey