On this day in 1944 Salvatore Leonard Bando was born in Cleveland, Ohio. The Kansas City A's selected him in the sixth round of the 1965 draft, and just a year later he was in the big leagues as a September callup. Bando played eleven seasons at third base for Oakland and was a part of three World Championship teams, making four All Star appearances and finishing in the top five in the AL MVP voting three times.
Bando was still only 32 when the Brewers signed him to a five-year contract following the 1976 season, and played out his final seasons in Milwaukee. His best campaign as a Brewer came in 1978, when he hit .285/.371/.439 for a Milwaukee team that led the AL in runs scored and won 93 games.
All told Bando played 450 games at third base for the Brewers, still the fourth-highest career total in franchise history. Only Jeff Cirillo, Don Money and Paul Molitor played there more.
Unfortunately, many fans' fond memories of Bando as a player are overshadowed by his work as the Brewers' GM during the 90's. He's perhaps best remembered for his part in Paul Molitor's 1992 free agent departure after the Brewers failed to offer him salary arbitration until the last moment.
Thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for reminding me that Bando turns 69 today. With help from Brewerfan.net, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 2012 Helena Brewer Preston Gainey, who turns 22.
- 2012 Huntsville Star T.J. Mittelstaedt, who turns 25.
- 1993-97 Brewer Matt Mieske, who turns 45. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1981 Brewer Donnie Moore, who would have turned 59.