MILWAUKEE – Sal Bando, a member of the Brewers Wall of Honor, passed away last night in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He was 78.
A statement from the Bando family read: “It is with a heavy heart, the Bando family is sad to announce the passing of its beloved husband and father, Sal, who last night lost his battle with cancer that began over five years ago. 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.”
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sal Bando,” said Brewers President – Business Operations Rick Schlesinger. “Sal impacted the organization proudly for many years as both a player and as an executive. His addition to the team in 1977 helped establish the first great era of Brewers baseball. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Sal’s loved ones.”
The former third baseman spent the last five seasons (1977-81) of his 16-year Major League career with the Brewers after signing as the first free-agent acquisition in franchise history. Bando was a key member of the first winning team in franchise history as he batted .285 with 17 HR and 78 RBI in 152 games in 1978, helping the Brewers to a 93-69 record. He was also a part of the first Brewers postseason team in 1981.
Bando went on to join the front office following his playing career, serving as a special assistant to the general manager. On Oct. 8, 1991, he was named the sixth general manager in franchise history, a position he held until Aug. 13, 1999.
“Our hearts are broken by the passing of our Captain and our friend,” said Wendy Selig-Prieb and Laurel Prieb. “Sal was a pillar of strength who also had a huge heart. He was unwaveringly loyal and beloved by his teammates and those who worked with him when he moved into the front office. We cherish the times we had together and the many wonderful memories he leaves us with. Our hearts and prayers are with Sandy, Sal Jr., Sonny, Stef and their families.”