Raiders legend Jim Otto dies at 86

NFL

Longtime Raiders center Jim Otto has died at the age of 86, the team announced Sunday night.

No cause of death was given.

The durable Otto, who wore the distinctive “00” number, was a center for the Raiders’ first 15 seasons from 1960-74, starting 210 consecutive games.

“I always looked at being a football player as being a wrestler,” Otto told Bleacher Report in 2009.

“There’s something inside you that says: ‘I want to go out there and prove my worth.’ Most of the time you’re going to get injured. That’s the life you choose. Some people need a challenge in life and they play hockey or rugby. Football was the way I could prove myself”.

Jim Otto, the Raiders’ longtime center, died Sunday at the age of 86. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Otto was a nine-time All-AFL first-team player and then a three-time Pro Bowl center after the AFL and NFL merged.

“His skills as a center were exemplary,” the late Raiders Hall of Fame coach said John Madden once said. “He was one of those guys who never wanted to get out of training. That’s the opposite of what most rookies do, who will say, ‘Send in the second guy.'”

Otto was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility.

The durable Otto, who wore the distinctive “00” number, was a center for the Raiders’ first 15 seasons from 1960-74, starting 210 consecutive games. United States Press
Otto was a nine-time All-AFL first-team player and then a three-time Pro Bowl center after the AFL and NFL merged. United States Press

“Commitment to excellence, pride and poise, Jim Otto not only embodied the greatness of our football team, but for more than a decade he was the standard of excellence by which positions in professional football are judged,” late Raiders Hall of Fame owner Al Davis said in honoring Otto. .

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Otto underwent more than 70 surgeries and had his right leg amputated in 2007.

“I’m not the type of person who wants someone to feel sorry for me. I’ll do anything. I’ll go to war if I have to live,” Otto said in 2013, adding: “I’ve done a lot since my leg was amputated. I’ve been to the Arctic Circle. “I’ve been to all kinds of places…I love fishing.”

Otto was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility. Kyle Terada – USA Today Sports
Otto underwent more than 70 surgeries and had his right leg amputated in 2007. MediaNews Group via Getty Images

He left behind a wife, a son and 14 grandchildren.

“I watched him bleed,” Raiders shortstop Phil Villapiano said in a 2022 interview. “I mean, every game. Whatever helmet he was wearing, it definitely didn’t work, because it would fall off and smash on his nose. He would bleed every game. And the players on the other team would be like: ‘What’s going on with this guy?!’




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