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Jim Otto, Raiders legend Hall of Famer, dead at 86

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

The cause of death has not been disclosed.

Wearing his signature 00, the rugged Otto played center for the Raiders’ first 15 seasons from 1960 to 1974, starting 210 consecutive games.

“I’ve often thought of being a football player as being a gladiator,” Otto told Bleacher Report in 2009.

“There’s a feeling in your heart that says, ‘I want to go out there and prove my worth.’ Most of the time, you’re going to get hurt. That’s the life you’ve chosen. Challenge life.” Some people play hockey or rugby. Football was a way for me to prove myself.”

Longtime Raiders center Jim Otto died Sunday at the age of 86. MediaNews Group (via Getty Images)

Otto was a nine-time All-AFL first team selection and a three-time Pro Bowl center following the AFL-NFL merger.

“His skills as a center were perfect,” said the late Raiders Hall of Fame coach. John Madden once said:. “He was one of those guys who never wanted to come out of practice. That’s the opposite of most starting pitchers who say, ‘Send me the second guy.’

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

Wearing his signature 00, the rugged Otto played center for the Raiders’ first 15 seasons from 1960 to 1974, starting 210 consecutive games. usa press wire
Otto was named to the All-AFL First Team nine times and was named a Pro Bowl Center three times after the AFL and NFL merged. usa press wire

“The commitment to excellence, pride, poise and greatness of our football team is not only exemplified by Jim Otto, but for over a decade he has been the standard of excellence by which centers are measured in professional football. ” said late Raiders Hall of Fame owner Al Davis as Otto was laid to rest.

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

“I’m not the type of person who wants anyone to feel sorry for me. I’ll do anything. If I have to live, I’ll go to war,” Otto said in 2013, adding, “Ever since I had my leg amputated, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’ve been to the Arctic Circle. I’ve been to all kinds of venues…I like hunting.”

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

He is survived by his wife, son, and 14 grandchildren.

“I saw him bleed,” Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano said in a 2022 interview. “I mean, every game. No matter what helmet he was wearing, it definitely wouldn’t work because it would fall and hit him on the nose. He was bleeding every game. And the players on the other teams will be like, ‘What the heck is this guy?!’

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