(Reuters) — Sal Bando, the captain of three straight Oakland Athletics world championships clubs during the 1970s, died Friday night in Wisconsin at 78 due to cancer, the A’s and Milwaukee Brewers both announced on Saturday.
The four-time All-Star third baseman was the leader of the Athletics, who were World Series champs from 1972-74. He played 11 seasons with the franchise from 1966-76 — the first two in Kansas City — before finishing his career with five seasons for the Brewers.
The Bando family released a statement through the Athletics.
“It is with a heavy heart the Bando family is sad to announce the passing of their husband and father, Sal, on Friday January 20, losing his battle with cancer that began over five years ago,” the statement said. “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.”
The Athletics also paid tribute to the captain of a colorful dynasty that included players like Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Bert “Campy” Campaneris and pitchers Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Athletics Hall of Famer Sal Bando,” the statement said. “‘Captain Sal’ as he was affectionately known among the A’s faithful, was a four-time All-Star and led the Club to three consecutive World Series titles. Our deepest condolences are with his family, friends and fans.”
Bando hit 192 of his 242 homers for the Athletics, belting 20 or more on six occasions. He established career bests for homers (31) and RBIs (113) in 1969.
Overall, Bando batted .254 with 1,039 RBIs in 2,019 games over 16 seasons from 1966-81.
Bando became an broadcaster and a baseball executive after his playing career and served as general manager of the Brewers from 1991-99.
He was inducted to the team’s Wall of Honor in 2014.
“The Brewers mourn the passing of former third baseman, general manager and 2014 Wall of Honor inductee Sal Bando. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Sal’s family, friends and fans,” Milwaukee said on social media.