Raiders Hall of Famer Jim Otto Dies at 86: The Life and Career of The Original Raider

Raiders legend Jim Otto recently died. We revisit the life of the "Original Raider" and the impact he has made throughout the years.

The Raiders organization and the NFL world lost a legend on Sunday, as it was announced that Jim Otto died at the age of 86. One of the “Original Raiders,” Otto’s death was announced by his former teammate Phil Villapiano and later confirmed by the Las Vegas Raiders organization themselves.

Otto was from Wisconsin and played college football at the University of Miami before his 15-year career with the Raiders that ended with him being a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.

Why Jim Otto Was ‘The Original Raider’

“The Raiders Family is in deep mourning following the passing of Jim Otto,” the Raiders said in a statement. “The personification of consistency, Jim’s influence on the American Football League and professional football as a whole cannot be overstated.”

When you think of the Raiders’ long history, Otto’s name is often brought up — and for good reason. As mentioned, Otto played his entire 15-year NFL career with the Raiders and set a team record by starting 210 consecutive regular-season games from 1960-74.

After being drafted by a proposed Minnesota-based AFL team in 1960, Otto’s rights ended up going to the Raiders when that team decided to join the NFL instead and rewarded the franchise based out of Oakland with the team.

Otto was named to the first-team All-AFL by The Associated Press nine times in 10 years from 1960-69. He was also named a first-team All-Pro in 1970 and to the second team in 1972 following the AFL-NFL merger.

In 1980, Otto was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 2019, was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team after already being selected to the AFL’s All-Time Team in 1970.

Best Centers in NFL History

When you talk about the center position and who were some of the greatest to ever do it, the conversation needs to include Otto. Widely regarded as the best ever, names like Chuck Bednarik, Mel Hein, and Dwight Stephenson are also mentioned.

However, despite some legendary centers that have come before and after Otto, none have had his longevity, impact, or consistency while dawning the Silver and Black.

Otto’s ability to be available each and every week, play at a high level, and embody everything that the Raiders and professional football stand for makes him the legend that he is and why he will live on forever.

The Raiders’ Silver and Black Legacy

Few teams in professional sports have as recognizable — or as iconic — of a look as the Raiders have had with their Silver and Black silhouette. Known for being tough, gritty, and downright nasty at times, when you see the Raiders’ logo and their accompanying colors, you know you’re going to be in for a battle.

It’s more than a jersey, more than just a logo; it’s a way of life, a badge of honor. Otto embraced it throughout his life, and it’s one of the many reasons why he’s considered to be The Original Raider.

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