Some baseball players are so good that they become heroes. Vida Blue, a good starter for the Oakland Athletics, was one of these players. Sadly, Vida Blue d!ed when he was 73 years old. But he will never be forgotten because he was one of the best pitchers of his time. In this piece, we’ll learn about Vida Blue and discover what made him a great pitcher.
Who Was Vida Blue and How Did He Die?
The Oakland Athletics confirmed on Sunday(7 May 2023) that Vida Blue, a 17-year MLB veteran and a key cog in the team’s championship run in 1972–1974, had p@ssed away, as reported by online resources. He was 73 at the time of de@th. There was no mention of what exactly k!lled the person.
“There are few players with a more decorated career than Vida Blue,” the A’s said. “He was a three-time champion, an MVP, a six-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award winner, and an Oakland A’s Hall of Famer. Vida will always be a franchise legend and a friend. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Oakland Athletics have released a statement of sadness about the p@ssing of Vida Blue through Twitter.
A statement from the family of Vida Blue. pic.twitter.com/uZEWRyzIAV
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) May 7, 2023
After being drafted by the Kansas City A’s in the second round of the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft out of De Soto High School in northwestern Louisiana, Blue made his major league debut the following year at 19. This was the A’s second season in Oakland.
In his first two years with the A’s, Blue made just 18 appearances (10 starts), but his domination after being brought up in September 1970 was a precursor to his greatness.
Blue allowed only one runner to reach base on a walk in the fourth inning of his no-hitter against the Twins at his home park two starts after tossing a one-hit shutout against the Royals on the road in Kansas City. Blue, who was 21 years, 55 days old when the Live Ball era began in 1920, is still the youngest player to pitch a no-hitter.
In 1971, Blue had a breakout year, finishing 24–8, with an earned run average of 1.82 and 301 strikeouts over 312 innings. He was named AL Cy Young and AL Most Valuable Player. He joined an exclusive club, the sixth player to accomplish this feat.
Blue was named to six All-Star teams during his 17-year career, including stops with the Giants and Royals and the A’s. Considering Blue almost went in a different direction after high school, his meteoric rise is all the more impressive.
You can check out a tweet that Dave “Smoke” Stewart sent in which he pays respect to Vida Blue right here.
Vida Blue rest in peace, my mentor, hero, and friend. I remember watching a 19 year old phenom dominate baseball, and at the same time alter my life. There are no words for what you have meant to me and so many others. My heart goes out to the Blue family🙏🏿🙏🏿
— Dave “Smoke” Stewart (@Dsmoke34) May 7, 2023
Vida Rochelle Blue Jr. was born on July 28, 1949, to parents Vida Blue Sr. and Sallie Blue in Mansfield, Louisiana.
Blue was recruited to play football at numerous big universities due to his stellar performance as a quarterback in both baseball and football throughout his high school career. After his father p@ssed away during his senior year in high school, he decided to pursue baseball instead of football to help support his family sooner.
After his 1971 breakout season, Blue got into a contract disagreement with A’s owner Charlie Finley and eventually left baseball to work for a steel firm. On May 24, 1972, Blue and Finley reached a deal, which Commissioner Bowie Kuhn aided.
Blue played for the A’s for nine years, during which he was an All-Star three times and helped the team win three consecutive World Series titles until being transferred to the Giants during Spring Training in 1978. To acquire the Southpaw, San Francisco traded seven players and $300,000.
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Blue was selected for the All-Star Game thrice with the Giants, including as the National League’s starting pitcher in 1978. Blue, who also started the All-Star Game twice for the A’s, made history by being the only pitcher to do it.
After a brief stint in prison for cocaine use, Kuhn banned Blue from baseball for the entire 1984 season. Blue was rehabilitated and played for the Giants in 1985 and 1986 before signing with the A’s as a free agent and retiring in February 1987.
After 3,343 1/3 innings pitched, Blue posted a 209-161 record with a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, 143 complete games, and 37 shutouts. He received 8.7 percent of the vote from baseball writers in 1993 and will be inducted into the A’s Hall of Fame this year.
Manager Mark Kotsay of the A’s has mentioned that he recently spoke with Blue during the team’s celebration of their 1973 World Series victory. “Always spirited and fun-loving,” Kotsay said of Blue. “He loved the Oakland Athletics. The impact he had on this organization is felt to this day. It’s a sad day. You feel for his family.”
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