Vida Blue, born on July 28, 1949, in Mansfield, Louisiana, grew up as the oldest of six children in a modest household. His father, Vida Blue Sr., worked as a laborer in an iron foundry, while his mother, Sallie, provided love and support to the family.
Blue attended DeSoto High School in Mansfield, where he showcased his remarkable athletic talents. As a standout player, he excelled both on the baseball diamond and as the quarterback of the football team.
Blue’s senior year accomplishments were truly extraordinary, throwing a no-hitter with an impressive 21 strikeouts in just seven innings pitched, and delivering a remarkable performance in football, throwing for 3,400 yards and 35 touchdown passes while rushing for 1,600 yards.
Career in Major League Baseball
Vida Blue Jr. was a successful baseball player from 1969 to 1986. He played for the Oakland Athletics and helped them win three World Series championships in a row from 1972 to 1974.
He was a left-handed pitcher and was very good at his job. He won two awards in 1971, the American League Cy Young Award and the Most Valuable Player Award, which shows how great he was.
A Trailblazing All-Star
Blue was selected to play in the All-Star game six times during his career. He was one of only five pitchers in baseball history to start the game for both the American League and the National League.
This achievement puts Blue in the same category as other great pitchers like Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer. Blue was very talented and could play different positions, which made him an important player in baseball.
Teams | Career Highlights
Blue played baseball for 17 years and was part of three different teams. He started with the Oakland Athletics and played with them for nine years, from 1969 to 1977. Then, he played for the San Francisco Giants for four years from 1978 to 1981, and again in 1985 and 1986.
Blue also played for the Kansas City Royals from 1982 to 1983. Throughout his career, Blue had many impressive achievements, such as winning 209 games and striking out 2,175 batters, which made him one of the best pitchers of his time.
Legacy | Off-Field Contributions
After he retired from playing baseball, Blue worked as an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, where the San Francisco Giants play. However, he struggled with addiction and was charged with DUI multiple times in 2005. This may have affected his chances of being selected for the Hall of Fame. 
Despite his personal struggles, Blue was committed to helping others. He participated in charity events and worked to promote baseball in Costa Rica. This helped him become known internationally in the baseball community.
A Farewell to a Baseball Icon
Vida Blue, a legendary baseball player, passed away on May 6, 2023, at the age of 73 due to cancer-related medical complications. He was known for his remarkable career as a pitcher and his contributions to the game.
Blue won three World Series championships, was named AL MVP and Cy Young in 1971, and appeared in six All-Star games. He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame and the San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame.
Blue was also known for his philanthropic work, including visiting military installations and charitable initiatives for children. His legacy as a pitcher and philanthropist will be remembered for generations to come. His death was a great loss for the baseball community and fans worldwide.
Vida Blue was a famous baseball player known for being an excellent pitcher. He was famous for throwing the ball very fast, up to 100 miles per hour, and he had some other great moves that made him very hard to hit. Many important people in baseball have said that he was really good at pitching, including Pete Rose and Bill James.
Early Career | Debut
Blue was chosen by the Kansas City Athletics in the 1967 MLB draft. Despite receiving football scholarships from various colleges, he decided to sign with the Athletics for $12,500 per year to support his family after his father’s passing. He began playing in the MLB in 1969, and his first game was on July 20th of that year.
Breakout Year | Awards
In 1971, Vida Blue had a really great year in baseball. He won many awards, including the Cy Young Award and the American League Most Valuable Player Award. He was also the youngest player to win the MVP award in the 20th century.
That year, he was on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Time magazine, and he was the starting pitcher for the American League in the 1971 All-Star Game.
Clashes with Athletics Owner | Post-Season Play
After having a successful season in 1971, Blue and Athletics owner Charlie Finley disagreed over his salary, and Blue held out for a better pay. He missed a significant portion of the 1972 season before agreeing to a salary of $63,000.
In that season, Blue had a 6-10 record, but he did play in the 1972 World Series. Blue played a crucial role in Athletics’ five straight American League Western Division pennants from 1971 to 1975 and three consecutive World Championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974.
Continued Success | No-Hitter
After his successful seasons in the early 1970s, Blue continued to perform well. He was part of a no-hitter in 1975 and had a good record in 1976. However, Blue and his team owner Charlie Finley had disagreements, and in 1976, the commissioner of baseball stopped Finley from selling Blue’s contract to another team.
Wife | Children
Blue got married to Peggy Shannon at Candlestick Park on the pitcher’s mound in 1989. Willie McCovey was his best man, and Orlando Cepeda walked Shannon to the pitch. Blue and Shannon had twin girls, but in 1996 they split up.
Blue had two other girls and a son named Derrick. Blue stayed in Twain Harte, California, for a long time after he quit baseball. Around 2007, he moved to Tracy, California.
Vida Blue used to play baseball professionally for the Oakland Athletics, the San Francisco Giants, and the Kansas City Royals. He is thought to be worth about $1.5 million, and he made a total of $1.4 million during his career.
In 1986, when he played for the Giants, he made the most money, $450,000. Blue was an MLB All-Star six times. On September 21, 1970, he threw a no-hitter, and on September 28, 1975, he threw a joint no-hitter.
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