Patriots Corridor of Famer Gino Cappelletti died on Thursday on the age of 89, abandoning an enduring legacy as a participant and particular person. Paul Perillo
The Patriots have been blessed with many nice soccer gamers all through their 60-plus 12 months existence, however none was an even bigger gentleman than Gino Cappelletti.
Cappelletti died on Thursday on the age of 88, abandoning a formidable legacy as a husband, father, grandfather, participant, coach, broadcaster and all-around ambassador of the sport.
His on-field exploits are quite a few because the AFL’s all-time main scoring with over 1,000 profession factors in his 11 seasons with the Boston Patriots from 1960-70. He additionally hung out as a coach within the group, heading up the particular groups from 1979-81. Shortly thereafter he labored as a shade analyst calling the video games on radio, first alongside Dale Arnold after which because the long-time sidekick of his fellow Patriots Corridor of Famer Gil Santos.
However as spectacular as these accomplishments have been, they pale compared to the person he was. Cappelletti, identified affectionately as The Duke, was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was a pleasure to speak to whatever the subject, however particularly when regaling with tales of the previous AFL days and the Patriots issue in maintaining financially.
As a part of the Patriots journey staff throughout a lot of Gino’s run, I had the pleasure of listening to him typically throughout numerous bus rides bouncing from airports to motels throughout the league. One time in Buffalo, he defined how the staff was instructed to not sleep below the sheets the night time earlier than a Payments sport to be able to keep away from being charged with charges to scrub the rooms. As superb as that sounds in at present’s multi-billion-dollar sports activities world, Gino instructed these tales in a lighthearted method that by no means indicated the voice of a bitter ex-athlete. As an alternative, he typically did so with a smile on his face, realizing his viewers appreciated the storytelling.
Whether or not it was engaged on a crossword puzzle – an train that just about included the entire bus as he would typically search assistance from Santos whereas the remainder of us did our greatest to assist – or making ready for that night’s dinner, Gino was a pleasure to easily be round.
Buffalo appeared to place Gino in a very upbeat place. It was house to one in all his all-time favourite eating places, Billy Ogden’s, and he liked to host a large Patriots contingent there every time attainable. He was pleasant with the institution’s proprietor, and in flip they handled him like royalty. I used to be fortunate sufficient to hitch the crew on a few events within the early-2000s and watching Gino in his ingredient was virtually nearly as good because the great meals we loved.
It was really particular to benefit from the firm of humble man who achieved a lot in his full life, and one who can be sorely missed by anybody who had the nice fortune of assembly him.