Vida Blue Wiki – Vida Blue Biography
Vida Blue, the three-time Oakland A’s World Series champion, died on Sunday at the age of 73. Blue was a six-time All-Star who won the American League MVP award the year before his first World Series championship. The news was disclosed on Sunday morning, with Oakland A’s legend Dave ‘Smoke’ Stewart tweeting: ‘Vida Blue rest in peace, my mentor, hero, and friend.
I remember witnessing a 19-year-old phenom dominate baseball and change my life. There are no words to express how much you have meant to me and many others. ‘My heart goes out to the Blues.’ Blue, an A’s pitcher, died Saturday, according to the team, but no cause of death was given.
Vida Blue was 73 years old.
Vida Blue Career
Few players had a more accomplished career than Vida Blue,’ the team claimed in a statement on Sunday. ‘Vida will always be remembered as a franchise legend and a friend.’ After going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts in 24 full games, eight of which were shutouts, Blue was named the American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player in 1971. He is one of only 11 pitchers to have won both awards in the same year. Over 17 seasons with Oakland (1969-77), San Francisco (1978-81, 85-86), and Kansas City (1982-83), Blue went 209-161 with a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, 143 complete games, and 37 shutouts.
More notably, he pitched the Swingin’ A’s, Charley Finley’s colorful, mustachioed squad, to successive World Series wins from 1972 to 1974. Only the New York Yankees from 1998 to 2000 have done so since. After openly clashing with Finley, Blue’s owner attempted to move the pitcher twice, only to be vetoed both times by baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, first to the New York Yankees in June 1976 and again to the Cincinnati Reds in December 1977.
Kuhn vetoed the deals because the commissioner has the ability to act in the ‘best interests of baseball.’ Vida Blue has been a Bay Area baseball hero for more than 50 years,’ said Giants President Larry Baer in a statement. ‘His impact on the Bay Area exceeds his 17 years on the diamond with the influence he’s had on our community.’ Blue was released by the Royals in August 1983 and sentenced to three months in federal prison and a $5,000 fine the following December for misdemeanor possession of approximately a tenth of an ounce of cocaine. Blue was sentenced to one year in prison, but the remainder of the term was suspended by U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Milton Sullivant.
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth ordered in 1985 that all players be subjected to random drug testing for the rest of their careers. Blue returned to baseball with the Giants for two seasons after missing 1983 and 1984. Blue was sentenced to six months in jail for failing to complete probation following his arrest in Arizona on suspicion of DUI for the third time in less than six years in 2005. He was assured, however, that he could escape incarceration by enrolling in a residential alcohol treatment program.