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Jim Otto’s Death: A Look at the 86-Year-Old Hall-Of-Famer’s Incredible Football Life

Yagya Bhargava
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Jim Otto's Death: A Look at the 86-Year-Old Hall-Of-Famer's Incredible Football Life

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Otto, the stalwart center, has passed away at 86. The cause of death remains unknown. Otto was a symbol of dedication and resilience and was quite renowned for his iconic No. 00 jersey. He anchored the Oakland Raiders offensive line for 15 seasons with unmatched tenacity.

Otto often fondly recalled the early days of the NFL, where players like himself played with fearless determination, disregarding penalties and consequences.

Jim Otto’s impact as a center went beyond his era, some would say it transcended any specific time frame. When he took the position in the Raiders’ first AFL game in 1960, he became the undisputed starting center for Oakland until his retirement after the 1974 season.

The Raiders recently shared the sad news of his passing, calling him “The Original Raider.”

Otto stood out as the only All-AFL center throughout the league’s existence from 1960 to 1969. Remarkably, he was one of just three players, along with George Blanda and Gino Cappelletti, to participate in all 140 AFL regular-season games.

Moreover, after the AFL-NFL merger, Otto’s excellence continued as he was selected for the Pro Bowl in each of the first three years. But the Raiders legend also underwent 29 knee surgeries and over 75 surgeries overall due to his intense playing style.

Incredibly, he never missed a game in 15 years with the Raiders and wrapped up his career with an impressive 210 consecutive regular-season games. However, the physical toll eventually caught up with him, and in 2007, he had his right leg amputated after battling serious infections. Otto also fought prostate cancer, yet his spirit remained unbroken.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980, Otto’s roster was packed with greats like George Blanda, Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Bob Brown, Ken Stabler, and many more.

NFL World Mourns To Jim Otto’s Demise

Fans were deeply saddened by the loss of NFL legend Jim Otto. X lit up with reactions as the Raiders broke the news. One fan posted, “RIP to the only player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame to wear 00. The original Mr. Raider, Jim Otto.” Current Raiders star Maxx Crosby also honored Otto, calling him an “Absolute Legend & Incredible Person.”

Jim Otto was the gold standard for centers, earning the undying love of fans everywhere. His legacy continues to inspire.

About the author

Yagya Bhargava

Yagya Bhargava

Yagya Bhargava is a Senior Journalist/Writer at The Sports Rush and has been following the NFL over an year. He transitioned from being a chef to sports journalism due to his profound love for sports. With over 200 articles with The Sports Rush, he has previously delved into various US sports, including basketball, baseball, and golf. Yagya, with a sports passion and keen writing eye, thrives in delivering sports news that's not just captivating but also accurate. He embraces the competitive spirit, having played football at the National level.

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