Oakland Athletics mourn pitching icon Vida Blue
Former Oakland Athletics pitcher Vida Blue, who led the club to three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 to 1974, has died, the club announced on Sunday. He was 73.
Blue, a lethal left-hander who also became the youngest Most Valuable Player in baseball history in the 1971 season, passed away on Saturday, the Athletics said.
"There are few players with a more decorated career than Vida Blue," the Athletics said.
"He was a three-time champion, an MVP, a six-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award winner, and an Oakland A's Hall of Famer.
"Vida will always be a franchise legend and a friend. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends during this arduous time."
Blue made his Oakland debut in 1969 as a 19-year-old after being drafted straight out of high school in Louisiana two years earlier.
He made only a handful of appearances in his first two seasons but in September 1970 served notice of his talent after becoming the youngest pitcher since 1920 to throw a no-hitter at the age of 21 years and 55 days old.
In 1971 his dominance on the mound earned him the American League Cy Young Award as well as the MVP honor after a season in which he went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts.
Blue left the Athletics in 1977 following years of acrimonious relations with the team's then owner Charlie Finley.
He spent three years with the San Francisco Giants before joining the Kansas City Royals and then returning to San Francisco, where he finished his career in 1986.