Class of 1980 Hall of Famer Passes Away

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Otto has passed away.  He was 86 years old.  He played 15 seasons at Center for the Oakland Raiders.  Below is a portion of the release from the team and his family:

“The Raiders Family is in deep mourning following the passing of Jim Otto…The Original Raider,” the club 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. His leadership and tenacity were a hallmark of the dominant Raider teams of the 1960s and 70s.”

In an astounding feat, Otto played 210 straight regular-season games to begin and end his amazing career, which included 12 AFL All-Star/Pro Bowl selections and 10 All-Pro nods prior to his 1980 enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Otto was a key member of the Silver and Black’s first title win in 1967, as the Raiders captured the AFL Championship en route to an appearance in Super Bowl II.

With double-zero emblazoned across his chest and a trademark neckroll over his shoulders, Otto was very much the portrait of an offensive lineman. He was tough as shoe leather, a leader for a new franchise that became a proven winner and a steadfast teammate who paved the way for other Hall of Famers’ glory.

Otto played alongside a parade of fellow Hall of Famers, combining with guard Gene Upshaw to form one of the finest combinations of interior offensive linemen in league lore. He also shared a roster with HOFers George Blanda, Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Bob Brown, Ken Stabler and more.