Sal Bando, who spent the remaining 5 seasons of a embellished enjoying profession with the Milwaukee Brewers after which held the position of common supervisor with the franchise for an additional eight seasons, died Friday at age 78 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
A press release from his household stated Bando had been battling most cancers for 5 years.
The three-time World Series champion as a participant with the Oakland Athletics made 4 All-Star groups throughout his enjoying days with the A’s and signed a five-year contract price $1.5 million with the Brewers after the 1976 season, the first premier free- company additions in Brewers historical past.
Bando hit .254 with 242 homers and 1,039 RBI in 16 seasons with the Athletics and Brewers. He won three consecutive titles with the A’s from 1972-74.
“It can by no means be overstated the position Sal had in Brewers’ historical past, each on and off the subject,” stated former Brewers proprietor and baseball commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig. “I can not emphasize that sufficient. When he joined us as a participant, that was an enormous day in our historical past. He helped us flip the nook and was the whole lot we hoped for, and performed an necessary position in serving to develop our youthful gamers reminiscent of Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, into stars. He was actually our captain.
“More than an amazing participant, he was an amazing particular person, a extremely nice man. And he actually liked Milwaukee, selecting to remain right here and lift his household, which meant a lot to him. Beyond all of that, Sue and I, and our complete household, cherished our friendship with Sal. He will likely be actually missed. This is a tragic day.”
The Brewers’ first free agent
The Brewers chosen the third baseman Bando in the now-defunct free-agency “draft” of 1976, placing them amongst a small group of groups with negotiating rights. Getting him to comply with a deal marked a brand new period for the membership.
“It has long-term significance, as a result of it proves we are able to signal free brokers, and that will likely be necessary in future years,” Selig stated at the time.
The Brewers thought they’d an opportunity to signal Bando’s roommate in Oakland, catcher/first baseman Gene Tenace, however he in the end selected San Diego. Still, the Brewers improved marginally in 1977 after which went on a run of six consecutive profitable seasons, beginning with a 93-win group in 1978 that was the first profitable membership in Brewers historical past.
Bando performed in Milwaukee from 1977-81, posting his greatest yr in the uniform with that 1978 group when he batted .285 with 17 homers. He additionally performed 32 video games for the 1981 group that grew to become the first playoff qualifier in membership historical past, serving in a player-coach position for his remaining two years.
Selig had bragged that when the Brewers signed the third baseman, he’d gotten robust suggestions from individuals with the A’s.
“You do not perceive,” Selig stated then. “The coronary heart and soul of the Oakland A’s is just not Catfish Hunter, and it isn’t Reggie Jackson, and it isn’t Rollie Fingers. It’s Sal Bando.”
(*78*) participant to entrance workplace instantly
With his enjoying profession full, Bando instantly grew to become a particular assistant to common supervisor Harry Dalton, the architect of Milwaukee’s run of success from the late-Seventies and thru the Nineteen Eighties. But the Brewers hadn’t completed increased than third in the American League East for 9 years after the run to the 1982 World Series, and after a sequence of free-agent signings for the 1991 season flopped, Selig turned to Bando, simply 47 years outdated outdated, as the new president of baseball operations. Dalton stayed on as a senior vice chairman.
“I’d be lower than candid if I informed you I used to be notably thrilled about now not being the common supervisor of this group, however I’m very, more than happy about remaining with the group,” Dalton stated at the time.
Bando’s first main little bit of enterprise was firing incumbent supervisor Tom Trebelhorn, and he led the search that in the end landed Phil Garner as supervisor for the 1992 season. Bando’s solely profitable season in his GM tenure was that first one, a memorable 1992 marketing campaign during which the membership won 92 video games and took second in the American League East behind World Series champion Toronto.
Paul Molitor’s departure
The deck was stacked towards Bando in the Nineteen Nineties when salaries started skyrocketing and the small-market Brewers could not sustain till income sharing started in 1996. That might have performed a job when Bando stood at the forefront of certainly one of the most doubtful selections in franchise historical past, not bringing franchise legend Paul Molitor again for the 1993 season.
The Brewers braintrust delayed contract negotiations after the 1992 season, then infamously requested Molitor to take a pay reduce; as an alternative, the Toronto Blue Jays entered the fray with a three-year supply price $13 million. The Brewers provided him a shorter, cheaper deal.
“I did not perceive their method to that entire negotiation, and I assume I did not perceive the economics of what they had been going by way of at the time,” Molitor stated later. “I simply thought that I did not have the assist. I assumed they tried to make me out as the dangerous man at the time, and so they had been attempting to guard their picture and do some injury management, too.”
At age 36, Molitor turned in the first of two consecutive All-Star seasons with the Jays, completed second in the MVP voting and have become World Series MVP. Molitor and Robin Yount are the two gamers enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame regarded primarily as Milwaukee Brewers.
Bando resigned in August of the 1999 season shortly after firing Garner, who was changed by interim supervisor Jim Lefebvre. Just like his predecessor, Bando was reassigned inside the group, into the newly created position of particular assistant to the membership president.
Bando, a local of Cleveland who performed school baseball at Arizona State, remained related to Milwaukee. Bando’s son, Sal Jr., was head coach for the Marquette High School baseball group that grabbed back-to-back runner-up finishes in the WIAA summer season baseball state match in 2016 and 2017.
Bando was inducted into the Brewers Wall of Honor as a constitution member in 2014. He entered the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.
JR Radcliffe could be reached at (262) 361-9141 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.