Vida Blue (1949-2023)


By Bruce Haring | Deadline

Vida Blue, a dominating left-hander who helped the Oakland Athletics win three straight World Series championships from 1972-74, died on Saturday. He was 73.

“There are few players with a more decorated career than Vida Blue,” the A’s said in a statement. “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. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this arduous time.”

One of the dominant starting pitchers of the 1970s, Blue debuted at age 19 in 1969, the franchise’s second year after moving to Oakland. His career started slowly, but soon built into one of the key cogs for the team known as the Swingin’ A’s for its talent and swagger.

In September 1970, Blue showed what was to come. Two starts after throwing a one-hit shutout against the Royals in Kansas City, Blue tossed a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins, striking out nine and allowing only one batter to reach base on a fourth-inning walk. At 21 years and 55 days old, Blue remains the youngest player since the start of the Live Ball Era in 1920 to throw a no-hitter.

Blue won the 1971 AL Cy Young and MVP Awards after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts over 312 innings. He went on to make six All-Star teams during a 17-year career that saw him spend time with the Giants and Royals in addition to the A’s.

No information on survivors or memorial plans was immediately available.

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