May 12 (UPI) -- Gino Cappelletti, one of the original members of the then-Boston Patriots in 1960 and the American Football League's Most Valuable Player in 1964, has died. He was 89.
Cappelletti died Thursday at his home in Wellesley, Mass. No cause of death was provided.
"My heart aches after learning of Gino Cappelleti's passing this morning," current Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "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. ... 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."
Cappelletti, who was a wide receiver and kicker, was one of just three players to appear in every game throughout the AFL's 10-year history, along with Jim Otto and George Blanda.
He ended his career as the AFL's all-time leader in points (1,100) and field goals (170). He spent his entire career with the Patriots (1960-70) after joining the franchise from the University of Minnesota.
After his playing career concluded, Cappelletti shifted to the Patriots' broadcast booth in the 1970s. He also took a three-year break at one point to serve as the club's special teams coach.
Cappelletti later served as a radio color commentator for the Patriots beginning in 1988. He announced his retirement from broadcasting in July 2012.
Nicknamed "The Duke" and "Mr. Patriot," Cappelletti was a five-time AFL All-Star selection. In addition to his 1964 AFL MVP Award, he was named UPI's AFL Player of the Year that season.
He was inducted into the Patriots' Hall of Fame in 1992.
Notable Deaths of 2022