Feb 6, 2011

non-HOF Profile Derby #18: Sal Bando

Next, is an integral part of Oakland's 1970s championship teams, Sal Bando.

Place on the WAR chart: :  Above Bobby Wallace and Dave Winfield and below Harmon Killebrew and Willie Keeler

Career Overview and Some Numbers:Played for the Athletics franchise from 1966-1976 and the Brewers from 1977-1981 almost exclusively as a 3B.  He was a 4x all-star and finished top 5 in MVP balloting 3x.  Was very durable, playing more than 150 games in 10 seasons of 14 full years.  Led the league in total bases once. and doubles once.   Had 6 20+ HR seasons and 2 100+ RBI seasons, finishing top ten in these categories 4 and 5 times, respectively.  Also had five seasons of greater than 130 OPS+. Finished top 10 in WAR for position players in the AL 8 times during his career.   Most similar players numbers-wise over his career were Todd Zeile, Willie Jones, and Ron Cey.

Best Season: Probably 1969 when he hit .281/.400/.484 (153 OPS+) with 31 HR, 113 RBI, 106 R, and 113 BB.

The Final Numbers:: .252/.354/.408 (119 OPS+) with 982 R, 242 HR, 1039 RBI and 1031:923 BB:K

Why He Should be Remembered: Besides having a prominent mustache on the A's '70s championship teams, also was a middle of the order presence in a decidedly pitching era.  Continuing a theme with this series, those with low batting averages and fairly high walk rates, playing a position in the middle of the defensive spectrum are fairly undervalued in terms of baseball history. Excelled in some postseason series, hitting two HR in the 1973 and 1974 ALCS. Was obviously highly regarded at the time as evidenced by his MVP voting results, but his peak was probably not sustained long enough to give notice to his overall numbers.

HOF Balloting Performance:one year on the ballot with 0.7% vote in 1987.

Rookie Card:: 1967 Topps #33

Modern Cards:: 2001 Upper Deck Decade '70s auto/relic, 2011 Topps relic

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