Vida Blue, 3-time World Series Champion and Oakland A’s Hall of Fame Pitcher, Dies at 73

Photo of author

Oakland A's left-handed legend Vida Blue has passed away. (AP Photo)

Vida Blue, a decorated MLB pitcher and key member of the Oakland Athletics' World Series three-peat from 1972–74, has died. The team announced on Sunday, He was 73.

“There are few players with more decorated careers 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 a Hall of Famer for the Oakland A's. Vida will always be a franchise legend and a friend. We send our deepest condolences during this difficult time.” To his family and friends during.”

Blue spent nine of his 17 seasons in Auckland. He also played for the and the Kansas City Royals.

The lefty had a historic season in 1971, going 24–8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts in 312 innings. Show won him the AL Cy Young and MVP awards in his third MLB season.

Blue also made his first All-Star Game appearance that year, where he and Doak Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first two African-American pitchers to start in the event.

“I don't know what (that game) did for baseball, but it gave the black a chance to be proud of two black pitchers starting an All-Star game,” Blue told Endscape in 2019,

He garnered five more All-Star nods. He was traded to the Giants in 1978 in a seven-player swap. Blue played for San Francisco until 1981, then spent 982–83. He missed time in 1983 and '84 as he struggled with drug addiction, and eventually returned to the Giants for the next two years.

See also  Report: Bears revealed asking price for Raiders' No. 1 pick

After the 1983 season, Blue and several former teammates pleaded guilty to attempting to purchase cocaine. blue told San Francisco Chronicle He believed that his drug problem had kept him from the Hall of Fame.

Blue said, “There were some issues in my life that could have a tendency to influence voting.”, “There are some guys in the Hall of Fame who don't have a halo.”

Blue remained close to the game in retirement. Most recently, he was an analyst for Giants broadcasts.

Fellow great A's pitcher, Dave Stewart tweeted his condolences. “Rest in peace, my mentor, hero and friend,” he wrote.

Blue and other members of the 1973 World Series team were honored by the Athletics in April. The reunion ceremony celebrated the 50th anniversary of the victory.

Former Oakland Athletics players Vida Blue, from left, Gene Tennes and Joe Rudy during the Athletics Honor Ceremony;  The 1973 World Series championship team before a baseball game between the Athletics and the New York Mets in Oakland, California, Sunday, April 16, 2023.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Vida Blue and other former Oakland Athletics players Gene Tennes and Joe Rudy were honored during a ceremony in April. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The A's, Giants and Royals paid tribute to Blue on Sunday.

Two of his former teams, the Athletics and Royals, finish a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday.