BOSTON (CBS) — Gino Cappelletti, a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, died on Thursday at the age of 89.
A member of the Boston Patriots in their first year of existence in 1960, Cappelletti was a receiver and a placekicker during his 11-year career. He served as the radio color commentator for the Patriots — alongside the late Gil Santos — through the 2011 season.
“My heart aches after learning of Gino Cappelletti’s passing this morning,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “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. The Patriots have had many iconic, fan-favorite players over the years. Gino was the first. I remember watching him play in 1960 and throughout his career. He was one of the AFL’s biggest stars, becoming the first Patriots player to earn league MVP honors and retiring as the league’s all-time leading scorer. He became the second player in franchise history to earn Patriots Hall of Fame induction and I will always believe he deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As great of a player as he was, he was an even better person and storyteller. On behalf of my family and the entire Patriots organization, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Gino’s wife, Sandy, their three daughters, Gina, Cara and Christina, and their 10 grandchildren, as well as the many others who will be mourning his loss.”
Despite his career ending in 1970, Cappelletti remained the all-time leading scorer in Patriots franchise history until Adam Vinatieri passed him in 2005. He was the AFL’s most valuable player in 1964, and he’s one of just three players to play in every game of the AFL’s 10-year history. He was the league’s all-time leader in points and field goals.