By: Matthew Selman
Vida Blue was born in Mansfield, Louisiana in 1949 and is known as being one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history. Blue passed away on May 6, 2023 at the age of 73. His death brings sorrow to millions of baseball fans across the country and he will be missed by fans of all ages.
Vida Blue was a lefty pitcher who always attacked the strike zone, no matter who he was facing. Since his first start in the MLB, he was an effective pitcher with a speedy fastball and a curveball that kept batters guessing. He inspired thousands of African American baseball players, and is an integral figure in uniting the MLB and eliminating the Negro Leagues.
Blue spent the majority of his career playing for the Oakland Athletics, where he boasted a 59-35 record during the Athletics historic run of three world series wins in a row, (1972,1973,1974). During this winning streak for the Athletics, Blue became an important part of the pitching rotation, consistently putting up low ERA seasons. His most memorable season with the A’s was his 1970 season, where he went 24-8, with all of his wins being complete games with eight shutout games. He had a 1.82 ERA for the season, one of the lowest of all time. That year he won both the Cy Young and the MVP awards.
During his career, he is one of the only players to have three World Series rings, six all star appearances, a Cy Young award, and to be a Hall of Famer. His career stats are 209 wins, 161 losses, 143 complete games, and a career ERA of 3.27 after 17 years in the MLB. Vida Blue was a dominant pitcher throughout his time in the big leagues. He was one of the hardest throwing lefties that have played the game, and will forever be remembered for his talent and good nature.