Former NFL and AFL quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli reportedly passed away at the age of 87, according to NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Parilli, who was born in Rochester, Pa., played his college football at Kentucky under the tutelage of legend Bear Bryant. The quarterback was the fourth overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft, by the Green Bay Packers. He spent four seasons with the team between 1952-58, but was nudged out by Bart Starr in the latter stages of his tenure with the franchise.
Vince Lombardi cutting ties with Parilli allowed the journeyman to take his talents to the AFL, where he played for the Browns, Jets and Raiders. He was a three-time AFL All-Star and won the 1966 AFL All-Star Game MVP.
During the 1968 season, he was a part of the Jets team that won the Super Bowl over the Baltimore Colts, 16-7. In that game, he only attempted one pass with Joe Namath piloting the Jets offense.
Parilli’s longest stint came with the Boston Patriots, spanning 1961-68. He won the AFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1966.
Over his career as a pro, the quarterback completed 46.6 percent of his completions and threw 170 touchdowns against 220 interceptions. He retired at the age of 40 with his last action coming with the Jets.
In 1974, he coached the New York Stars of the World Football League. After taking the reigns of the Chicago Winds of the WFL, he spent time with the New England Steamrollers, Denver Dynamite, Charlotte Rage, Las Vegas Sting, Anaheim Piranhas and Florida Bobcats in the Arena Football League.