Legendary Baseball Player Vida Blue Passes Away at 73

Former American League MVP and three-time World Series champion Vida Blue passed away on May 6, 2023, at the age of 73, leaving the baseball world in mourning. Blue, who spent 17 seasons pitching for the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals, was an accomplished athlete with a decorated career.

Blue was drafted by the then-Kansas City Athletics in 1967 and made his MLB debut two years later at the age of 19. In his career, he recorded 209 wins, 161 losses, a 3.27 ERA, and 2,175 strikeouts. Blue was a six-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award winner, and a member of the Oakland A’s Hall of Fame.

However, Blue’s career was marred by drug issues that led to his suspension from baseball and a brief prison sentence for attempting to purchase cocaine. He was suspended for the entire 1984 season by MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn, before being reinstated in 1985. Vida Blue pitched for two more seasons with the Giants before retiring in 1987.

Despite his troubles, Vida Blue will always be remembered as a franchise legend, friend, and teammate. He helped the Athletics win three-straight World Series titles from 1972-74, a feat that has only been accomplished since by the New York Yankees from 1998-2000. In 1971, Blue became the youngest Most Valuable Player in AL/NL history after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA, tallying 301 strikeouts and 24 complete games. He also won the American League Cy Young Award winner that season, becoming only the fifth player ever to win both awards in the same year.

Vida Blue was inducted into the A’s Hall of Fame in 2019 and is a member of the Giants Wall of Fame and Bay Area Hall of Fame. His impact on the Bay Area community transcends his 17 years on the diamond, particularly through his work with the Junior Giants program.

The Blue family issued a statement through the Athletics, expressing their sadness and asking for privacy during this challenging time. “Vida was a great father, grandfather, brother, friend, and teammate who will be forever cherished, honored and loved. We appreciate your uplifting prayers as we deal with the overwhelming loss of our father.”

Blue’s passing is a great loss to the baseball world, and his legacy will continue to live on through his achievements and contributions to the sport.

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