Gino Cappelletti passes away at 89 years old

RG33

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That’s a bummer. Lived a seemingly great, long life though. I’ll proudly wear my “Cappelletti” jersey for Week 1 this year in his honor. Soundtrack to many tough years, but a few good/great ones too! Rest in peace.
 

cshea

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I'm too young for his playing days, but I'll always remember Gino's cheering in the back (heeeyyyyy!!!!) during big Gil calls. RIP.
 

jacklamabe65

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I not only saw Gino play in person at least 20 times at Fenway, BC, and Harvard Stadium over the years, but I believe I also saw him kick at the newly opened Schaefer Stadium as well. I was one of those fortunate kids who used to shag balls for Gino when he would practice kickoffs and field goals at Wellesley's Junior High School Football Field in the late '60s and early '70s. A gentleman in every way. Not only was he "Mr. Reliable" as a kicker, but Gino was also a Raymond Berry-like receiver who was very clutch. He and Babe made some beautiful music together. I am so glad that he announced the first 3 Super Bowl wins for the franchise. He was Mr. Patriot. RIP, Duke.
 

ifmanis5

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I not only saw Gino play in person at least 20 times at Fenway, BC, and Harvard Stadium over the years, but I believe I also saw him kick at the newly opened Schaefer Stadium as well. I was one of those fortunate kids who used to shag balls for Gino when he would practice kickoffs and field goals at Wellesley's Junior High School Football Field in the late '60s and early '70s. A gentleman in every way. Not only was he "Mr. Reliable" as a kicker, but Gino was also a Raymond Berry-like receiver who was very clutch. He and Babe made some beautiful music together. I am so glad that he announced the first 3 Super Bowl wins for the franchise. He was Mr. Patriot. RIP, Duke.
Good memories, thanks for sharing.
 

bankshot1

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I remember a Friday night Pats game at Fenway vs the Houston Oilers and the visitors were up 24-22 late in the 4th qtr but Babe drove the Pats into FG position and Gino banged through a game winner (IIRC at 0:00) that landed in the Sox bullpen. Pandemonium ensued.

RIP #20
 

Ralphwiggum

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Gil and Gino will forever be a part of the journey from the first Lombardi. Their enthusiasm in the booth was reflective of the way all of us long suffering Pats fans felt at the time. Incredulous that the MFing Patriots were actually, maybe going to win the Super Bowl, and then just pure joy when it actually happened.

RIP Gino.
 
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Pablo's TB Lover

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Not old enough to appreciate him as a player, but was a good if not great broadcaster and the hole-in-the-wall organization that the Patriots were for certain periods of its first 35 years did not deserve the quality of this guy. But Gino got his "now I can die in peace moment" after the 2001 season and then still saw 5 more titles in his later years. You can't compare any service to Johnny Pesky's with the Sox, but Gino is as close to an equivalent as you can get with the Patriots. Arguably smarter than Pesky too, as he preferred to stay in the booth to watch the games going forward rather than hang out on the sidelines/dugout (heh).
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Someone please correct me if my memory is failing me—but I have this distinct memory of Gil and Gino doing a sort of sing-songy celebration at the end of the '03 AFCCG, maybe when Vinatieri hit the clinching FG to go up 10. I just have this memory of them singing about going to Houston. I'm sure someone else remembers if this happened, but I remember as being such a fun moment. There was always the fear that maybe the first SB was something of a fluke and then the 03 and 04 teams came along and dominated so that first trip back to the SB was in some ways just as special as the win over Pittsburgh two years prior.

Such good memories of that booth.
 

tims4wins

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Someone please correct me if my memory is failing me—but I have this distinct memory of Gil and Gino doing a sort of sing-songy celebration at the end of the '03 AFCCG, maybe when Vinatieri hit the clinching FG to go up 10. I just have this memory of them singing about going to Houston. I'm sure someone else remembers if this happened, but I remember as being such a fun moment. There was always the fear that maybe the first SB was something of a fluke and then the 03 and 04 teams came along and dominated so that first trip back to the SB was in some ways just as special as the win over Pittsburgh two years prior.

Such good memories of that booth.
This definitely happened, but struggling to find the audio
 

Kliq

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A remarkable career in football. Started out as the backup QB at Minnesota and emergency placekicker, although Minnesota never kicked field goals back then. Convinced his coach to kick a 33-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter in a game against Iowa to give them a ten point lead, and was kicking from then on. He eventually became the starting QB and was named Second Team All-Big 10 during his senior season. He spent some time playing minor league football in Canada, but was done with football in 1959. With the launch of the AFL, he joined the Boston Patriots, and started out as the placekicker and also at defensive back (despite being a QB in college). He had four interceptions in his first five games when the Pats decided that this guy had pretty good hands and maybe he should play offense. Six seasons of pro-bowl level WR play followed, as well as his stellar kicking.

Pro Football Reference has him listed at five different positions (FL-SE-DB-WR-K) which has to be close to some record.
 

Al Zarilla

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One of the few players that contributed for years in a skill position and as a kicker. Two others come to mind right away: Sammy Baugh and Paul Hornung. Gino was definitely a favorite of mine in the early Patriots years.
 

jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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When I lived in Wellesley for two years, after moving From Fall River and before my dad got transferred to Philly in 71, I lived right near the Junior High field. One day in June this man was practicing kicking field goals. My friends in Jr. High and High School played a trick on me and said to me....Do you think this guy is as good as Gino. I said he looks pretty good but said no, not as good. Then they told me it was Gino. I couldn't believe it. I went up and talked to him. Very nice person. This was after he retired of course. He said he kept kicking for exercise. Fun experience.
 

jaytftwofive

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I not only saw Gino play in person at least 20 times at Fenway, BC, and Harvard Stadium over the years, but I believe I also saw him kick at the newly opened Schaefer Stadium as well. I was one of those fortunate kids who used to shag balls for Gino when he would practice kickoffs and field goals at Wellesley's Junior High School Football Field in the late '60s and early '70s. A gentleman in every way. Not only was he "Mr. Reliable" as a kicker, but Gino was also a Raymond Berry-like receiver who was very clutch. He and Babe made some beautiful music together. I am so glad that he announced the first 3 Super Bowl wins for the franchise. He was Mr. Patriot. RIP, Duke.
Just saw your post Jack. I lived in Wellesley for two years also and met him at the Jr. High field. As my post above says. I also used to shag kicks for one of your classmates who was the kicker on the Jr High and High School team. Gary Alberice.
 

88 MVP

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Rest In Peace. I will always think of him and Gil as the sound of a Sunday afternoon in the fall growing up - helping my dad to rake leaves and do yard work with the Patriots broadcast playing from a radio on the porch.

The other memory that will always stay with me is the radio call of the Bledsoe-Marino duel in 1994. I was in the car on a road trip up to Maine and still vividly remember hanging on the edge of the backseat listening to the radio call as that game went back and forth. It was right around that time that I truly got hooked on football and the Patriots.
 

jacklamabe65

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Just saw your post Jack. I lived in Wellesley for two years also and met him at the Jr. High field. As my post above says. I also used to shag kicks for one of your classmates who was the kicker on the Jr High and High School team. Gary Alberice.
Then we've met in a past life, because I caught Alba, a classmate, every once in a while. Small world.
 

jaytftwofive

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Then we've met in a past life, because I caught Alba, a classmate, every once in a while. Small world.
Oh ah one maw thing as Columbo would say. Speaking of Alba, during one of our many touch football games in the Summer of 70 I head collided with Gary's younger Brother Manny and suffered my 2nd concussion in my life. Not fun. Manny didn't get a concussion, lucky for him. Haven't had a concussion since, knock on wood.
 

Harry Hooper

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Add George Blanda to this stellar list
Peter King has a salute to Gino in his latest that includes a factoid about him and Blanda:

I think the death of Gino Cappelletti at 89 deserves more than an RIP, Gino. Five reasons why:
• He was one of the last true versatile players in football history. In 1960, with the first-year Boston Patriots of the American Football League, he played defensive back and kicker. Then he switched to wide receiver in 1961. He returned kicks, played briefly in the backfield, caught 292 passes in his career, and led the AFL in scoring five times, more than any player.
• He scored the first points in AFL history—a 35-yard field goal against Denver on a September Friday night on the campus of Boston University—and he is one of three men (George Blanda and Jim Otto) to play every game for his team in the AFL’s 10-year history.
• Some of his games wow. In 1960, as a DB, Cappelletti intercepted three passes in a game against Oakland at Kezar Stadium. In 1961, against Houston, in his second month as a receiver, he caught six passes for 131 yards and a go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter—and kicked four PATs and a field goal. In a 1964 game at Denver, Cappelletti kicked six field goals in six tries. In 1965, at Fenway Park, he caught five passes for 151 yards (including 26- and 57-yard TD passes) and was four-for-four in field goals against Houston.
• Cappelletti was the AFL MVP in 1964, beating out Charley Hennigan, who had the first 100-catch season in football history (101 catches, 1,546 yards).
• Christened “Mr. Patriot,” Cappelletti did color on the Patriots radio broadcasts for 28 years. If asked their all-time favorite Patriot, many of a certain age in the six-state New England region would say Cappelletti, even today.