Sports

Jim Otto, Pro Football Hall of Fame known as ‘Mr. Raider,’ dead at 86

Jim Otto, the Pro Football Hall of Fame center known as “Mr. Raider,” has died, the Las Vegas Raiders announced Sunday. He was 86.

The Raiders put a statement out on X. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Jim Otto in the 1960s

Jim Otto leads the Oakland Raiders offensive line. (MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images)

“The Original Raider,” the team said. “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, and his ferocious work ethic and talent enabled him to start a remarkable 210 consecutive league games for the Oakland Raiders.

“Considered undersized when coming out of the University of Miami, Jim handled the first snap in franchise history and went on to be selected as the AFL’s All-Star center for the entirety of the league’s existence. One of only 20 players to play in every season of the American Football League, he was named the starting center on the AFL All-Time Team and was selected to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team in 2019. Jim was known to many as ‘Mr. Raider,’ and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility.”

Otto never missed a game because of injuries. He competed in 210 consecutive regular-season games and 308 straight total matchups despite having nine operations on his knees during his career. His right leg was amputated in 2007.

Jim Otto in Oakland

Center Jim Otto, #00 of the Oakland Raiders, in this portrait on the sidelines circa the late 1960s during an NFL football game at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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He was believed to have undergone 50 operations, most because of football-related injuries. The surgeries dealt with multiple joint replacements, arthritis and back and neck issues.

Otto also dealt with prostate cancer and two major infections after his career.

He was a 12-time Pro Bowler, a 10-time All-Pro and a one-time AFL champion. He played his final seasons with fellow Hall of Famers Gene Upshaw and Art Shell.

 “Rip Jim Otto. Absolute Legend & Incredible Person,” Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby wrote on X.

Jim Otto in 2023

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Otto smiles prior to an NFL football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 24, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

Otto is survived by his wife Sally, his son Jim Jr., daughter-in-law Leah and his 14 grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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