Pro Football Hall Of Famer Jim Otto Dead At 86

(Photo by James Flores/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
Font Size:

Throughout the first 15 seasons of the Raiders organization, there was one player who was a constant for the legendary franchise.

His name was Jim Otto — a Pro Football Hall of Fame center and respected by all of his teammates — and he passed away recently at 86 years old, according to an announcement Sunday from the Raiders. (RELATED: Auburn’s Brian Battie Shot, Brother Tommie Killed In Florida Shooting)

“The Raiders Family is in deep mourning following the passing of Jim Otto … The Original Raider,” said the team in an official statement. “The personification of consistency, Jim’s influence on the American Football League and professional football as a whole cannot be overstated. His leadership and tenacity were a hallmark of the dominant Raider teams of the 1960s and ’70s.”

To start and close out an absolutely remarkable career, Otto played in 210 consecutive contests, which featured 12 selections as an AFL All-Star/Pro Bowler and he was also a 10-time All-Pro. After his retirement, he was eventually enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1967, Otto was a huge part of the Raiders winning their first championship, with the Black and Silver winning the AFL title that saw them punch their tickets to Super Bowl II.

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

“He was the most honored offense lineman in the history of professional football. But statistics are just a measure of accomplishment, not really the measure of a man. If it is true that great men inspire in others the will to be great, that alone qualifies Jim to be a great man.”