Gino Cappelletti, versatile Boston Patriots star, dies at 89

Cappelletti was one of only three players to appear in every one of their team’s games in the life of the AFL – 14 regular season games i...


Cappelletti was one of only three players to appear in every one of their team’s games in the life of the AFL – 14 regular season games in each of 10 seasons. The others were Georges BlaandaHouston Oilers and Oakland Raiders quarterback and kicker, and Raiders center Jim Otto.

Cappelletti retired after 10 seasons in the AFL and one in the NFL with 292 receptions for 4,589 yards and 42 touchdowns, as well as 176 field goals, 342 extra points and four two-point conversions.

Credit…Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images

Survivors include his wife, Sandy; three daughters, Gina, Cara and Christina; and 10 grandchildren.

During their first three seasons, the Patriots played their home games at Boston University at Nickerson Field. They moved to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, in 1963.

“We felt like we were legit because it was a major league venue,” Cappelletti told the New York Times in 2012, reflecting on the AFL’s alleged inferiority complex as a longtime NFL challenger

“But,” he acknowledged, “we still had a long way to go.”

To prevent one team from blocking the view of spectators in the low seats along Fenway’s first base line, both teams’ benches were placed on the same sideline, in front of a temporary grandstand adjoining the wall of the left fielder known as Green Monster. .

“It led to some crazy things,” Cappelletti recalls. “We could walk by their bench and listen to their play calls.”

He recounted a game in which the Patriots carried out this plan against the Kansas City Chiefs coach:

“I remember Hank Stram calling for screen passes and us shouting in our defense about what was to come.

Jordan Allen contributed reporting.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Gino Cappelletti, versatile Boston Patriots star, dies at 89
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