Vida Blue, iconic Athletics, Giants pitcher, dies at 73
Vida Blue, iconic Athletics, Giants pitcher, dies at 73 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Vida Blue, a legendary starting pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants and former NBC Sports Bay Area TV analyst, died Saturday night at the age of 73.
The A's released a statement and posted a tribute video to Blue on Sunday morning:
Rest in peace, Vida ðð pic.twitter.com/MXHRuRFfjH
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 7, 2023
The Giants also issued a statement, mourning the passing of Blue.
A statement from the Giants on Vida Blue: pic.twitter.com/M72LXl4tBo
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 7, 2023
Former A's pitcher Dave Stewart mourned the loss of his "mentor, hero and friend."
Vida Blue rest in peace, my mentor, hero, and friend. I remember watching a 19 year old phenom dominate baseball, and at the same time alter my life. There are no words for what you have meant to me and so many others. My heart goes out to the Blue familyðð¿ðð¿
— Dave âSmokeâ Stewart (@Dsmoke34) May 7, 2023
A Louisiana native, Blue was drafted by the Kansas City A's in 1967 and made his MLB debut in 1969, a year after the franchise moved to Oakland.
Blue blossomed into a cornerstone for the A's in 1971, winning the American League MVP Award and his only Cy Young Award after posting a 24-8 record with an MLB-best 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts in 312 innings.
In 1972, 1973 and 1974, Blue helped the A's win three straight World Series championships, as Oakland formed one of the most dominant teams in MLB history.
After spending the first nine seasons of his MLB career with the A's, Blue was traded to the Giants in 1978 for seven players and $300,000. He spent the next four seasons in San Francisco, making three National League All-Star teams during that span.
The Giants traded Blue to the Kansas City Royals before the 1982 season and he played there through the 1983 season before a drug addiction kept him out of the 1984 season. The next year, Blue returned to the Giants for two final MLB seasons.
In 2019, Blue was part of the second class inducted into the A's Hall of Fame, along with former owner Walter A. Haas, Jr., Bert Campaneris, Mark McGwire and Tony La Russa.
In 17 MLB seasons, Blue -- a six-time All-Star selection -- posted a 3.27 ERA and struck out 2,175 batters in 502 career appearances.