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Carmen Cavalli, member of Raiders’ inaugural team, dead at 86

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Carmen Cavalli, a former Raiders defensive end and a member of the franchise’s first team in Oakland, has died, the team announced in a statement Friday. He was 86. 

Cavalli, who was selected in the inaugural American Football League Draft after playing at the University of Richmond, died Wednesday, surrounded by his family, according to an obituary posted online. 

“The Raiders Family mourns the passing of Carmen Cavalli, who played defensive end for the original Oakland Raiders in 1960,” a statement from the team said. 

“The condolences of the entire Raider Nation are with Carmen’s wife, Fritzi, daughters Cheri, Cindi and Carri, and all of his friends and loved ones at this time.” 

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Cavalli played in all 14 regular-season games during his rookie season but was sidelined the following year due to injury. He continued his football career in the United Football League and later the Continental Football League.

Cavalli and three other members of the Raiders’ first team were honored at a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers in August to celebrate the organization’s “63 years of the Silver and Black.” 

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According to his obituary, Cavalli later opened up a restaurant and bar in Pennsylvania with his wife in 1979 called Carmen’s Place.

The restaurant posted on its Facebook this week that customers will get their first drink “on Carmen” each Friday happy hour through the month of April. 

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