- Covered Patriots since 1997
- Joined ESPN in 2009
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Gino Cappelletti, an original member of the Boston Patriots in 1960 and the American Football League’s Most Valuable Player in 1964, has died. He was 89, according to the team.
Cappelletti was one of only three players to play in every game in the AFL’s 10-year history, along with Jim Otto and George Blanda.
A wide receiver and placekicker, he finished his career as the AFL’s all-time leader in points (1,100) and field goals (170). He played his entire career with the Patriots (1960-1970) after joining the team from the University of Minnesota.
Cappelletti went from the field to the Patriots broadcast booth in the 1970s, taking a three-year break at one point to serve as Patriots special teams coach.
He returned to serve as radio analyst from 1988-2011, with his calls alongside the late Gil Santos — particularly from the Patriots’ first Super Bowl victory over the Rams — considered by many to be among the greatest in New England sports lore.
“For the first 51 years of this franchise’s history, Gino contributed as an all-star player, assistant coach and broadcaster. You couldn’t be a Patriots fan during that era and not be a fan of Gino’s,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “The Patriots have had many iconic, fan-favorite players over the years. Gino was the first.”
Cappelletti was a five-time AFL All-Star selection, he led the AFL in scoring five times, and holds the top two scoring seasons in AFL history with 155 points in 1964 and 147 points in 1961. He also holds the Patriots single-game record for points in a game with 28 (on Dec. 18, 1965 vs. Houston.).
He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 1992.
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