18. Vida Blue
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: July 28, 1949 in Mansfield, LA USA
  • Weight: 189 lbs.
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Bats: B
  • Throws: L
  • Debut: July 20, 1969
  • Final Game: October 02, 1986
  • Cy Young Award - 1971
  • Most Valuable Player - 1971
  • TSN All-Star - 1971
  • TSN Pitcher of the Year - 1971
  • TSN All-Star - 1978
  • TSN Pitcher of the Year - 1978
 
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Vida Blue was a unique pitcher in that he was a southpaw who known for his power.  Blue first cracked the Athletics roster in 1969 but would spend most of that year in 1970 in the minors.  Oakland thought they had something in Blue, who would begin 1971 as a starter.  What happened that year was one of the most incredible campaigns ever for an Athletics Pitcher. 

Blue would win both the Cy Young and MVP award by going 24-8 with 301 Strikeouts and leading the AL in ERA (1.82), Shutouts (8), FIP (2.20), WHIP (0.952), H/9 (6.0) and SO/9 (8.7).  He would be inconsistent in the years that followed, only winning six games in 1972.  Blue would have 20 Win seasons in 1973 and 1975 and would go to three All-Star Games as an Athletic.  He didn't replicate his Cy Young win in 1971 but would have three top ten finishes for Oakland, and a seventh place finish in 1973 and two sixth place tallies in 1975 and 1976.

Blue would help Oakland win the World Series in 1972, 1973 & 1974, though in the post-season for the A's, he was not spectacular.  The Lefthander would go 1-5 with a 4.31 ERA, but without him, they may not have made those playoffs at all.

As part of the mid-70s fire sale, Charlie O. Finley sold Blue’s contract to the New York Yankees in 1976, but it was blocked by the league due to the belief that the trade was unfair.  Finley would eventually deal Blue within the Bay Area to the San Francisco Giants after 1977. 

He would finish his run in Oakland with a record of 124-86 and 1,315 Strikeouts.  He would go to three more All-Star Games with the Giants.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Pitcher
  • Acquired: Selected in the 2nd Round of the Amateur Draft 6/6/67.
  • Departed:

    Sold to the New York Yankees 6/15/76.

    Acquired (2): Deal voided by MLB 6/18/67.

    Departed (2): Traded to the San Francisco Giants for Gary Alexander, Dave Heaverlo, Phil Huffman, John Henry Johnson, Gary Thomasson, Alan Wirth, $300,000, and a Player to be Named Later (which would be Mario Guerrero) 3/15/78.
  • Games Played: 273
  • Notable Statistics: 124-86 Record, 262 Games Started, 2.95 ERA, 105 Complete Games, 2 Games Finished, 2 Saves, 1,945.2 Innings Pitched, 1,315 Strikeouts, 3.13 FIP, 1.165 WHIP, 28.4 bWAR
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    World Series Champion (1972, 1973 & 1974)

    Cy Young Award (1971)

    All-Star (1971, 1975 & 1977)

    Lowest ERA (1971)

    Lowest WHIP (1971)

    Lowest H/9 (1971)

    Highest SO/9 (1971)

    Most Shutouts (1971)

    Lowest FIP (1971 & 1976)

    Highest Win Probability Added (1971 & 1976)

    Highest Fielding Percentage by a Pitcher (1971 & 1973)
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