Thursday, September 20, 2012

Player Profile: Sal Bando

I have eight cards of Sal Bando. This one is from 1979 Topps.

Playing career: Third baseman Sal Bando played for the A’s and Brewers from 1966 to 1981, hitting .254 with 242 HR and 1039 RBI. He was a five-time all-star and a key member of the back-to-back-to-back world champion A’s. He hit five home runs in 20 ALCS games. He actually had the highest WAR in the major leagues in the five-year period from 1969-1973. As ESPN noted, he “hit for power, drew walks and played a solid third base.” His numbers would have been better if he hadn’t played in such a pitcher’s park.

Where he is now: After his playing career he was the General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, then became a banker and ended up the CEO of the Middleton Doll company, which makes realistic baby dolls – “The Babies That Love You Back.” He is now semi-retired, but is a partner at Paramount Financial Strategies and the baseball advisor for the Drana Group.

Interesting facts: Bando is heavily involved with religious organizations. He is currently a speaker for Catholic Athletes for Christ. In 2003, he started an organization called “Battin 1000” that aimed to raise money for an anti-abortion educational institution in Virginia through contributions from current and former major leaguers. A wit on the Baseball Think Factory Newsblog commented, “If he's as effective at this as he was at GMing the Brewers, every woman in America will soon be having free abortions once a year from now on.” Though not a failure on that scale, the initiative did lose steam very quickly after its inception.

My memories: He is from before my time. Hadn’t realized just how good a player he actually was.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Sal B, ahead of Sal Benedetto, a photographer. Another prominent Sal Bando is a garage/surfer band in the Baltimore area.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jeff Banister.

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