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Vida Blue: Pitcher Who Led Oakland to Triple World Series Titles

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Vida Blue was a three World Series winner and one of five players to play in the American League and the National League. He played for four teams in the Major League Baseball (MLB) and won several individual awards. After a successful career, he worked as a sports analyst for NBC. Let’s relive his career. 

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Vida Blue’s Career Start

Vida Blue highlights. Video Credit: Brodie Brazil

Vida Blue picked up sports in school. He played baseball and football and excelled in both. In baseball, he achieved a no-hitter in seven innings and made 35 touchdowns and 3,400 yards. 

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Professional Career

Remembering the life of Vida Blue. Video Credit: Brodie Brazil

Blue’s ability to pitch a baseball was evident. In 1967, the Kansas City Athletics drafted him as a second-round pick for a fee of $12500 pay annually. Initially, he began playing in Minor League Baseball but was promoted to the MLB. 

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Oakland Athletics

It didn’t take him long to establish himself in the big league. He helped Oakland beat the Kansas City Royals. After that, he made a no-hitter and became the fourth youngest pitcher to do this. 

In 1971, Blue won the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player of the Year after recording a 1.82 ERA. He topped the statistics chart and helped Oakland Athletics win their division title to take them into the postseason. However, the Boston Red Sox edged them in the final but he won the MVP award. 

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His baseball success saw him land a role in a movie and a salary rise in the club. However, it wasn’t as easy. He sat out most of the games as he pushed for better pay, and eventually, the team’s owner granted him the increase.

The team benefited from this as they won the World Series consecutively between 1972 and 1975. During these years, he’d lost his starting position as a pitcher and came on as a relief pitcher. In the subsequent seasons, the athlete kept registering impressive numbers but was also shrouded in controversy over his press remarks.

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Playing for Other Teams

In 1978, he joined the San Francisco Giants where he played for three years and then moved to the Kansas City Royals. After a year, he returned to San Francisco, where he finished his career. After, he worked with NBC as a sports analyst and also did charity work.

Even though Vilda Blue didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame, his performances are largely remembered. He ranks high in the list of the best pitchers of all time.  

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