Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who turned one in all baseball’s greatest attracts within the early Seventies and helped lead the brazen A’s to 3 straight World Sequence titles earlier than his profession was derailed by drug issues, died on Saturday, in line with the workforce. He was 73.
Oakland didn’t disclose a reason behind loss of life. Blue had used a strolling stick to help in his motion on April 16 on the 1973 Oakland Athletics championship workforce’s fiftieth anniversary occasion.
“He was dedicated. He was personable. He was caring,” ex-teammate Reggie Jackson mentioned throughout an interview with The Related Press on Sunday. “He was uncomfortable with the group.”
Blue was named the 1971 American League Cy Younger Award and Most Priceless Participant after successful 24-8 with 24 full video games, eight of which had been shutouts, with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts. He was 22 when he received MVP, the youngest to win the award. He stays one in all solely 11 pitchers to win MVP and Cy Younger in the identical yr.
Blue completed 209-161 with a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, 143 full video games and 37 shutouts in 17 seasons with Oakland (1969-77), San Francisco (1978-81, 85-86) and Kansas Metropolis (1982-83). ). He appeared within the Corridor of Fame election 4 occasions, receiving his highest endorsement in 1993 at 8.7%, effectively in need of the required 75%.
“This Corridor of Famer factor, that’s one thing I can actually and albeit say I want I used to be a Corridor of Famer,” Blue advised the Washington Submit in 2021. “And I do know for a undeniable fact that this drug factor was getting in the best way of my approach into the Corridor of Fame—thus far.”
A six-time All-Star and three-time 20-game winner, Blue helped the Swingin’ A’s, as Charley Finley’s motley, mustache workforce was recognized, to back-to-back World Sequence titles from 1972-74. Since then, solely the 1998-2000 New York Yankees have achieved this feat.
“I bear in mind watching a 19-year-old phenomenon dominate baseball and alter my life on the similar time,” wrote Dave Stewart, a era later a four-time 20-game winner for the A’s, on Twitter. “There aren’t any phrases for what you meant to me and so many others.”
Jackson was shocked at how a lot weight Blue had misplaced when he noticed him on the fiftieth reunion.
“I didn’t acknowledge him,” Jackson mentioned. “I used to be shocked. I used to be shaken. That may accompany me for the remainder of my life.”
Chosen by the then-Kansas Metropolis Athletics within the second spherical of the 1967 beginner draft, Blue made his main league debut with Oakland on July 20, 1969, a few week earlier than his twentieth birthday. He made 4 begins and 12 backup appearances, after which spent most of 1970 at Triple-A Iowa.
He was known as up because the rosters expanded and scored a one-hit shutout in his second begin in Kansas Metropolis. In his fourth begin, Blue threw a no-hitter towards Minnesota on September 21 at 21 years and 55 days, making him the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hitter because the dwell ball period started in 1920.
“There are few gamers with a extra profitable profession than Vida Blue,” the A’s mentioned in an announcement. “Vida will at all times be a franchise legend and buddy.”
He persevered after his MVP season and signed a one-year, $50,000 contract. Blue didn’t make his first begin of 1972 till Might 24, going 6-10, principally from the bullpen. From 1973 to 1976 he went 77-48 however his profession world sequence document was 0-3.
In 1975 he threw the primary 5 innings of a no-hitter towards the California Angels however was pulled early by supervisor Alvin Darkish to relaxation him for the playoffs in a sport completed by Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers.
Blue was among the many gamers who took management roles on the A’s and clashed with Finley.
Finley tried to commerce Blue to the New York Yankees for $1.5 million and Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Boston Crimson Sox for $1 million every in June 1976. Kuhn vetoed offers underneath the commissioner’s authority to behave in “baseball’s finest pursuits.” In December 1977, Kuhn stopped Finley from buying and selling Blue to Cincinnati and minor league first baseman Dave Revering for $1.75 million.
Blue was traded to the Giants the next March, giving Oakland seven gamers, together with outfielder Gary Thomasson and catcher Gary Alexander.
Blue was handed over to the Royals in March 1982 and launched in August 1983. In December of that yr, he was handed a three-month sentence in federal jail and a $5,000 effective for possession of a few tenth of an oz of cocaine. Blue was sentenced to a yr in jail, however US Choose J. Milton Sullivant stayed many of the sentence.
After sitting out 1983 and 1984, Blue returned to baseball for 2 seasons with the Giants. Blue was among the many gamers ordered by Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth in 1985 to bear random drug testing for the rest of their careers.
After his 2005 arrest in Arizona for the third time in lower than six years on suspicion of drink driving, Blue was sentenced to 6 months in jail after failing to finish his probation. However he was advised he may keep away from incarceration by spending time in an inpatient alcohol therapy program.
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