Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Jim Otto, the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame center known as “Mr. Raider,” has passed away at the age of 86. The Las Vegas Raiders announced his death, though the cause was not immediately known. Otto was a key player on the dominant Raider teams of the 1960s and 70s, known for his leadership, tenacity, and work ethic. He started an impressive 210 consecutive league games for the Oakland Raiders and was the AFL’s All-Star center throughout the league’s existence.

Despite being considered undersized when he entered the league from the University of Miami, Jim Otto made a huge impact on the game. He was one of only 20 players to play in every season of the American Football League and was named to the AFL All-Time Team. In 2019, he was also selected to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team. Otto was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, and was affectionately known as ‘Mr. Raider’ for his contributions to the team.

Jim Otto was known for his durability and toughness, never missing a game due to injuries. He competed in 210 consecutive regular-season games and a total of 308 matchups despite undergoing nine knee operations during his career. In 2007, his right leg was amputated, and he had a total of around 50 operations, mostly stemming from football-related injuries. Otto also battled prostate cancer and two major infections after his playing days were over.

Throughout his illustrious career, Otto was a 12-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro, and a one-time AFL champion. He played alongside other Hall of Famers like Gene Upshaw and Art Shell in his final seasons. Upon news of his passing, tributes poured in from current and former players, coaches, and fans alike, highlighting the impact that Otto had on the game of football. He is survived by his wife Sally, son Jim Jr., daughter-in-law Leah, and 14 grandchildren.

The legacy of Jim Otto extends far beyond his playing days, as he was a trailblazer in the sport and an inspiration to many. His incredible career, marked by toughness, durability, and excellence on the field, has left an indelible mark on the history of professional football. Otto’s contributions to the game, both as a player and as a person, will be remembered and honored by generations of fans and players to come.

In the wake of Otto’s passing, the football world mourns the loss of a true legend. His impact on the game and the Raiders franchise will forever be remembered, as his influence on the sport cannot be overstated. Jim Otto’s enduring legacy as ‘Mr. Raider’ will continue to inspire future generations of players and fans, ensuring that his memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew and admired him.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.