Jim Otto (born January 5, 1938 in Wausau, Wisconsin) is an American football center. He played first for Win Brockmeyer at Wausau High School then at the University of Miami (Florida). He also played linebacker.
After no National Football League team showed interest in the undersized center, Otto signed with the Oakland Raiders of the new American Football League. He was issued uniform #50 for the AFL's inaugural season, 1960, but switched to his familiar #00 the next season. This number was originally permitted for him by the AFL as a marketing gimmick since his jersey number 00 is a homonym pun of his name (aught-O). Jim Otto worked diligently to build his body up to his normal playing weight of 250 pounds.
For the next fifteen years Jim Otto became a fixture at center for the Raiders, never missing a single game due to injury - and there were many of them. Including pre-season, regular season and post-season games, Otto competed in 308 total games when, arguably, for the sake of his body, he should have retired far sooner.
To this day, Jim Otto embodies the toughness and determination the Raiders began to ferment in the mid-1960s, after Al Davis took control of the team and later hired John Madden as head coach.
Jim Otto was one of only 20 players to play for the entire ten-year existence of the American Football League. He was an All-Star in 12 of his 15 seasons and was named the starting center on the All-AFL team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, the first year he was eligible. Since 1995, he has worked for the Raiders in the department of special projects and is active in the business world.
As a show of respect, he always calls Al Davis "Mr. Davis."