Sal Bando, a four-time All-Star third baseman who won three World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics, has died, his family said in a statement Saturday. He was 78.
Bando died in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, on Friday. He had been battling cancer for the last five years, according to his family.
“Sandy, Sal’s wife of 54 years, and sons Sal Jr., Sonny and Stef, send their love to family, friends and fans who mourn the loss of a humble and faithful man,” the family’s statement read.
Bando was a sixth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Athletics in 1965. He appeared in 11 games in 1967 and got his real chance at the pros in 1968 as the team moved to Oakland. He played in 1,468 career games with the Athletics and hit .255 with 192 home runs and a .776 OPS.
He was an All-Star all four times with the Athletics – in 1969 and three consecutive years from 1972 to 1974. In 1972, Bando was runner-up for the American League MVP Award behind teammate Vida Blue.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Athletics Hall of Famer Sal Bando,” the A’s said in a statement. “‘Captain Sal,’ as he was affectionately known among the A’s faithful, was a four-time All-Star and led the Club to three consecutive World Series titles. Our deepest condolences are with his family, friends, and fans.”
By 1977, Bando was on the Milwaukee Brewers. He spent the last five seasons of his career with the Brewers. He hit .250 with 50 home runs and a .717 OPS. He retired after the 1981 season.
“The Brewers mourn the passing of former third baseman, general manager and 2014 Wall of Honor inductee Sal Bando. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Sal’s family, friends and fans,” the Brewers said.
Bando wouldn’t be too far from the game. He would become the general manager of the Brewers from 1991 to 1999. He was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2022.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.