On this day in 1977, the Brewers signed free agent third baseman Sal Bando to a five year deal. Bando was 33 years old at the time and had played each of the last eleven seasons as a member of the Athletics, dating all the way back to their last two seasons in Kansas City in 1966-67. He was a member of the A's when they won three consecutive World Series between 1972 and '74.
Bando was pretty good for his first two years as a Brewer and actually had one of his best seasons in 1978, hitting .285/.371/.439 in 152 games. The following season, though, time started to catch up to him: He averaged just 80 games per season over his final three years in Milwaukee and hit .226/.308/.335 during that time. When his contract expired following the 1981 season, his major league playing career was over.
In 1982 Bando was hired as a special assistant to Brewers GM Harry Dalton, and succeeded him in that role in 1991. Bando spent eight seasons at the helm as the Brewers fell from relevance to disrepair before eventually being replaced by Dean Taylor. In that role he's perhaps best known for letting Paul Molitor leave as a free agent following the 1992 season.
With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- Huntsville Star Dan Merklinger, who turns 26.
- Seattle Pilot and 1977-78 Brewer Larry Haney, who turns 69.
- 1959 Milwaukee Brave Joe Morgan, who turns 81.