Sal Bando, the first major free agent ever to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers, has passed away. His family released a statement that the former Brewers third baseman and general manager lost his battle with cancer.
Sal Bando, the A’s star who lent credibility to the fledgling Brewers after signing as a free agent in November 1976, and who later was Milwaukee’s GM, passed away last night in Oconomowoc, Wis., according to his family. pic.twitter.com/E5LHImZ97e
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 21, 2023
Bud Selig on Sal Bando
Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Haudricourt shared the following statements from Bud Selig regarding Sal Bando’s passing on Twitter:
“It can never be overstated the role Sal had in Brewers’ history, both on and off the field. I cannot emphasize that enough. When he joined us as a player, that was a big day in our history.
“More than a great player, he was a tremendous person, a really great man. And he really loved Milwaukee, choosing to stay here and raise his family. Beyond all of that, Sue and I, and our entire family, cherished our friendship with Sal. He will be missed.”
We, as Wisconsin sports fans, often adore our Packers players for the way that they embrace our state. A recent example is running back AJ Dillon, who has been dubbed the Mayor of Door County. Another recent example is Bobby Portis, who has also gotten an honorary mayoral title: the Mayor of Milwaukee.
Sal Bando, who was from Cleveland, Ohio, spent most of his playing career with the Oakland A’s. However, after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, he and his family remained in Wisconsin. Bando was one of the first professional athletes, outside of Green Bay, who made living in Wisconsin a big part of his identity.
Sal Bando Career Stats and Honors
Sal Bando had a 16-year career in Major League Baseball. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Athletics, with whom he made four All-Star teams and won three World Series titles. He also finished in the top five of AL MVP voting in three of those seasons, finishing second in 1971.
Bando signed with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 and spent the remaining five years of his career with the team. He retired with career totals of .254/.352/.408 with 242 home runs and 1,039 RBI.