Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1976 Topps #90 - Sal Bando

  • Sal Bando played 16 seasons (1966-1981) as a third baseman for Oakland and Milwaukee. He played his college baseball at Arizona State University and was drafted by the Kansas City A's in 1965. He spent the rest of '65 in A ball, then played AA in 1966. He had a cup of coffee with the A's at the end of the 1966 season. Sal played AAA ball in 1967 and played well enough to earn a promotion to the big club about 2/3 through the season.
  • Sal played all 162 games in 1968 and batted .251. He was selected to his first of four AL All Star teams in 1969 as he batted .281 with 31 homers and 113 RBI. Sal also developed a good eye at the plate, walking 111 times.
  • Bando was a very durable player. He appeared in 150 or more games every year but one between 1968 and 1978. The only exception was 1974, when he played in "only" 146 games.
  • Sal was in the top 5 in MVP voting in 1971 (2nd), 1973 (4th) and 1974 (3rd). The 1974 vote was especially interesting since he only batted .243 with 22 HR and 103 RBI.
  • Following Game Two of the 1973 World Series, he prompted the black armbands the players wore to show their feelings over the Mike Andrews incident, when Finley roasted the unfortunate second baseman's two-error performance.
  • Bando left the A's after the 1976 season as a free agent and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played for the Brewers from 1977 to the end of his career in 1981.
  • After he retired, Sal was a front office executive with the Brewers. He was their general manager from October 1991 to August 1999. Sal is now the CEO of Middleton Doll Company.
  • Here is a "where are they now" article that Sports Illustrated did about Sal in 2007.
  • Here is a link to an audio interview with Sal on "Jimmy Scott's High & Tight."
  • Sal and Gene Tenace appeared in a cameo on The Simpsons in 2007.
  • How many more World Series would the A's have won had they been able to stay together?

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