Babe Parilli (1930 - 2017)

Associated Press

Associated Press

Vito "Babe" Parilli died Saturday after a battle with cancer.

For his Jets career, Parilli played in 28 games, completing 43 of 79 passes for 539 yards, seven TDs and three INTs.

Vito "Babe" Parilli won a Super Bowl as a backup to Beaver Falls' Joe Namath, but was a star in college and the pros before he got his ring. Parilli led the Wildcats to a Southeastern Conference title in 1950.

Parilli broke the SEC single-season record for passing yards when he threw for 1,627 in 1950, and he broke it again in 1951 when he threw for 1,643.

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Parilli lettered three years at quarterback for the Wildcats and set Kentucky records for touchdowns with 50, leading United Kingdom to wins over Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and TCU in the Cotton Bowl. He also set a franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season for the Patriots with 31 in 1964. Parilli finished his career playing his final two seasons with the New York Jets in 1968 and 1969. During his college years at the University of Kentucky, he was an All-American and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist in 1950 and 1951. The quarterback was the fourth overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, by the Green Bay Packers. He played six seasons in the National Football League, then another 10 years in the AFL.

During his tenure with the Patriots he became one of the AFL's top quarterbacks, and was selected to the All-Star team three times and was named the AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966.

Following his playing career he coached in the World Football League and Arena Football League in a coaching career that lasted from 1973 - 1997.

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