Former Athletics captain, Brewers GM Sal Bando dies at 78

Sal Bando, a four-time All-Star third baseman for the Oakland Athletics who later played for and became general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, died of cancer Friday at the age of 78, the teams announced Saturday.

Bando won three consecutive world championships as captain of the A's from 1972 to 1974, leading the American League in extra-base hits (64), doubles (32) and total bases (295) during the 1973 season, when he hit .287 while playing in all 162 games.

The Athletics said in a statement that Bando had had cancer for more than five years.

"It is with a heavy heart the Bando family is sad to announce the passing of their husband and father, Sal," the A's said in a statement. "... 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."

Bando, who starred in college at Arizona State, represented the A's in the All-Star Game in 1969 and from 1972 to '74. Over a 16-season playing career that began with the Kansas City Athletics in 1966, he had a .254 lifetime batting average with 242 home runs and 1,031 RBIs.

Bando ended his playing career with the Brewers in 1981 before moving into the front office with the team, first serving as a special assistant. He was promoted to general manager after the 1991 season and served in that role until 1999. He was inducted to the team's Wall of Honor in 2014.

"Sal impacted the organization proudly for many years as both a player and as an executive," Brewers vice president of business operations Rick Schlesinger said in a statement. "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.''