Vida Blue, who as a rookie with Oakland Athletics in 1971 threw an unhittable fastball, died on Saturday. Check out what did blue die from.
Vida Blue : Death | What did die from | Net worth
Blue was a power pitcher who worked fast and pounded the strike zone. He threw an occasional curveball to keep hitters off balance and an above average change-up, but his signature pitch was a fastball which he threw consistently at 94 miles per hour (151 km/h), but could reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).
In The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, all-time hits leader Pete Rose stated that Blue “threw as hard as anyone” he ever faced, and baseball historian Bill James cited Blue as the hardest-throwing lefty, and the second-hardest thrower of his era, behind only Nolan Ryan.
Blue attended DeSoto High School in Mansfield. He pitched for the baseball team and quarterbacked the football team.
In his senior year of football, he threw for 3,400 yards and completed 35 touchdown passes while rushing for 1,600 yards. In his senior year of baseball, Blue threw a no-hitter with 21 strikeouts in just seven innings pitched.
Vida Blue Death
Vida Blue, a hard-throwing left-hander who became one of baseball’s biggest draws in the early 1970s and helped lead the brash A’s to three straight World Series titles before his career was derailed by drug problems, died Saturday, according to the team. He was 73.
Oakland did not announce a cause of death. Blue had used a walking stick to assist his movement at a 50th anniversary of the 1973 Oakland Athletics’ championship team on April 16.
“He was engaging. He was personable also he was caring,” ex-teammate Reggie Jackson said during an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, “He was uncomfortable with the crowd.”
Blue was voted the 1971 American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player after going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts with 24 complete games, eight of them shutouts.
He was 22 at when he won MVP, the youngest to win the award. He remains among just 11 pitchers to win MVP and Cy Young in the same year.
Blue finished 209-161 with a 3.27 ERA, 2,175 strikeouts, 143 complete games and 37 shutouts over 17 seasons with Oakland (1969-77), San Francisco (1978-81, 85-86) and Kansas City (1982-83). He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot four times, receiving his most support at 8.7 percent in 1993, far short of the 75 percent needed.
“That Hall of Fame thing, that’s something that I can honestly, openly say I wish I was a Hall of Famer,” Blue told The Washington Post in 2021. “And I know for a fact this drug thing impeded my road to the Hall of Fame — so far.”
What did Vida Blue die from
No official cause of death has been revealed, but his friends have said he had been battling an undisclosed cancer.
Born in Louisiana in 1949, Vida Rochelle Blue Jr. showed promise as an athlete from an early age.
Excelling in both football and baseball, he decided on the former after completing a 21-strikeout no-hitter in his senior year.
Although Blue received many offers from several prestigious NCAA colleges, he ultimately decided to pursue his major league dream right out of high school. This decision was apparently influenced by the recent passing of his father.
Vida Blue was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 1967 draft and made his debut for the team two seasons later.
Blue’s breakout season came in 1971, when he started 39 games for the A’s, registering eight shutouts and an ERA of just 1.82, enough to lead the league in both categories.
In addition, Blue put up 312 innings and accrued a record of 24-8 to win both the Cy Young and MVP Awards.
The Athletics would go on to win the World Series for three consecutive seasons from 1972 to 1974.
Although Blue was an integral part of the team, he would go 0-3 in World Series appearances, a curse that is reminiscent of Houston Astros star Justin Verlander, who failed to post a World Series win until 2022 despite having many opportunities.
At the time Vida Blue passed away, he had an estimated net worth of about $7 million.