Favorite AFL Images – Babe Parilli

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Here is another recent addition to my collections, and it comes from the same game as the Jim Hunt image that I featured last week.  I like this image for the depth of color and shadows, Babe Parilli’s positioning, and Ed Husmann (Oilers #82) leaping through the air.  Classic AFL.

Parilli is an interesting figure in AFL history, and one of the handful that played all 10 years of the league.  He was an original Raider, a member of the Eastern Division Champion Patriots in 1963, and backed up Joe Namath on the ’68 Jets.  Not bad, especially when you consider that he first broke into professional football in 1952, as a member of the Green Bay Packers.


Todd Tobias (789 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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16 Responses to Favorite AFL Images – Babe Parilli

  1. Bert Lawlor says:

    Great pic! The fans sitting in the sunshine in the background are actually in shallow left field of Fenway Park in front of the fabled Green Monster. As I’ve said here before, portable grandstands that sat about 6,000 were erected an ran from left field foul line out to right center field. Great seats. Both team benches were on this same sideline with the visitors on the side of midfield closes to third base. The Pats were on the side closer to the outfield. Parilli had a pretty solid career and ended up coaching in the WFL in the mid seventies. He played for Bear Bryant at ‘Bama. He was a nice guy too. Always had time for autographs and was a fixture at local car dealerships – especially for the big Washington B-day sales.

  2. Brad Anderson says:

    Hay Todd, you have a typo in the second paragraph. I am sure you meant to type “all 10 years of the league,” instead of 20.

  3. Paul Beaver says:

    How much better pro football would have been if the AFL would have been around 20 years !!!

  4. Greg F says:

    Probably thinking about 20 players who played in the AFL all 10 years.

  5. Any comments on the greatest AFL team of all-time/ and what all-time all star team would you choose/ also was Joe Namath the biggest catch of the AFL or was Lance Alworth / How about George Blanda and his extended career/ Cookie Gilchrist and his contribution/ what about Abner Hayne’s decision in the championship game/ Mike Garrett-Warren McVea-Robert Holmes what a backfield–Don Maynard–George Sauer–Pete Lammons–pretty good receiving core–the first AFL team to beat an NFL team was the Denver Broncos–KC destroys the Bears 66-24–Remember Chargers slapping the Rams around 35-13–Ron Mix handling Deacon-think I got it right, its been awhile

    • Tom says:

      The Rams and Chargers played pre season games from 1967-69 the 1968 game is the only one of the three games played in LA , the Chargers prevailed 35-13. The Rams won both contests played in San Diego 50-7 in 1967 and 24-14 in 1969.
      The 1968 game you reference was the fourth pre season game and Deacons first game back after missing all of training camp and the first three games.
      Not to make excuses for Deacon, because he certainly needs none, but he missed a month and a half of pre season training camp and played the game with a week of preparation.

  6. billd says:

    Great photo. Thanks for posting. Along with Parilli, there is a ton of football talent and fame in the photo. #73 of the Patriots is Billy Neighbors from Alabama, who played 8 years total in the AFL with the Patriots and Dolphins. Billy is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. #70 of the Oilers is Scott Appleton from Texas, the 1963 Outland Trophy winner and 5th in the Heisman voting. And in the middle of the action is Jon Morris from Holy Cross. Jon was a 2nd round pick of Lombardi’s Packers but chose to play for the Patriots. He played 15 years in the AFL/NFL and is in the Patriot Hall of Fame.

    • Tom says:

      I believe the runnig back is Larry Garron, Larry shared time in the backfield with Ron Burton and JD Garrett in 1964.
      In 1953 Ron Burton with Don Maynard were nationally ranked by Track and Field News, both in the 180 LH, Burton in his Junior Year at Northern HS, Flint, Mi ran 19.1, Maynard at Colorado City Tex ran 19.4.

      • Tom says:

        Two years after Don Maynard Colorado City Tex produced the great sprinter named Hollis Gainey. Gainey’s times 9.6w 100 and 20.9 220, In 1955 Gainey topped or equaled legendary Texan and three time Olympic Gold Champ Bobby Morrows 1954 top high school times at San Benito Tex HS, 9.6w 100 & 21.1 220.

      • Tom says:

        My apologies it was Leon Burton not Ron Burton that in 1953 was ranked by T&F News 19.1 180 LH.

  7. John Spoulos says:

    Babe Parilli!! Wow what memories growing up. I think those of us who remember the AFL forget how great it was. I remember getting made fun of when I told other NFL fans that I watched the AFL. Lest we forget those great memories. Lombardi after the first Super Bowl said that the Chiefs were not as good as some of the mediocre teams in the NFL, yet, the Jets won Super Bowl three and the Chiefs found redemption in Super Bowl IV. Lombardi wasn t wrong much, but he was wrong about that!!. What a league!! I have many of those old AFL players on my sports radio show… I love them all!!

    • Howard says:

      Actually, Lombardi expected the Jets to win. He thought they were particularly well prepared to beat Baltimore’s blitz. I thought that game came down to Earl Morrall choking early on when the game was a contest. He made some bad throws and bad decisions.

      Not to take away from the Jets, they played smart, but, Baltimore had a chance to blow the game open in the first 15 minutes. By not doing so, they allowed an already confident Jets team to control the tempo of the game. Baltimore stayed tight and never had a chance after the first half opportunities were wasted.

      • Virgil Baldon, Jr. says:

        In addition, Baltimore tried to hide their older, slowing defenders on the right side of their defense. The Jets saw this and how it played into their left side strength (Winston Hill, Bob Talamini and George Sauer blocking together, with John Schmitt-a bigger AFL center-easily cutting off DT Fred Miller or MLB Dennis Gaubatz, despite Schmitt having a respiratory problem in the game).FL Don Maynard was an effective decoy though injured-the Colts didn’t know how badly he was hurt-and he occupied CB Lenny Lyles and S Rick Volk all game.The Jets won the offensive chess game and made a stand on defense to win.

        • Tom says:

          Additionally the Jets had an extra week to recoup and prepare for the Raiders in the decisive 1968 AFL Championship game. The Raiders/ Jets AfL Title game was played a week after the Silver n Black eliminated KC in the playoff and two weeks after the Jets regular season games ended.

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