The New England Patriots have enjoyed a massive amount of on-field success over the past two decades, with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady teaming up to form the most dominant partnership of the 21st century in the NFL. Well before that, though, Vito “Babe” Parilli was a key cog in the Patriots wheel as a quarterback more than five decades ago and he enjoyed plenty of success, including a Super Bowl win, at other stops along the way.

Unfortunately, news broke on Saturday that Parilli has passed away at the age of 87.

Parilli threw for more than 20,000 yards in his storied career and was at the helm for the Patriots from 1961-1967. After that, he was able to claim a Super Bowl victory as the backup to Joe Namath with the New York Jets during Super Bowl III and Parilli was well known for his high-end ability as a holder on special teams.

He was voted to the AFL All-Star Game (equivalent of the Pro Bowl) on three occasions and earned AFC Comeback Player of the Year honors for the 1966 season. Following his career, Parilli was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1993 and he is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame based on his stellar work at the University of Kentucky.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Patriots family and the NFL on this day.

Former Super Bowl champion, three-time Pro Bowler has passed away at the age of 87 Twitter/@Bobthestatman
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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