Patriots’ Hall of Famer, quarterback Vito Parilli, better known as ‘Babe’ passed away Saturday at the age of 87.
Parilli was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the fourth pick in 1952. This followed two seasons under Bear Bryant at Kentucky. He was a two-time Heisman Award finalist with the Wildcats and earned All-American honors twice, helping him reach the College Football Hall of Fame.
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After a year away from football in 1959, Parilli joined the Raiders of the upstart American Football League. After one year and one start, the Raiders traded Parilli to the Boston Patriots where his career took off.
Parilli spent seven seasons with the Patriots where he compiled a 44-32-7 record. He threw for 16,747 yards and 132 touchdowns over that span, making him the first of many great Patriots quarterbacks.
His best season came in 1964 when he led the Patriots to a 10-3 record. During that year, Parilli threw 3,465 yards and 31 touchdowns. His 31 passing touchdowns in a single season stood as the Patriots all-time record until Tom Brady broke it in 2007. That year he threw 50.
After his time with the Patriots ended, Parilli spent two years with the Jets before retiring from the league. In his final season, he won a Super Bowl as the back up to the Jets’ Joe Namath in Super Bowl III. After his playing career ended, he enjoyed a long career as a coach in the World Football League as well as the Arena Football League.
– Ian Glendon is a National Co-Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.