Sal Bando, former Milwaukee Brewers 3rd baseman and GM, dies at 78

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Photo credit: Milwaukee Brewers.

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Former Milwaukee Brewers player and General Manager Sal Bando has died in Oconomowoc at the age of 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."

According to Brewers staff, 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. They said 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.

In a release, Brewers President - Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said, "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sal Bando, 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."

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.

The Brewers also released a statement on the passing of Bando:

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