The MLB world was dealt some tragic news on Sunday morning when it was announced that Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants legend Vida Blue had passed away at the age of 73. Blue was a dominant left-handed pitcher throughout his career, which he spent with the Athletics, Giants, and Kansas City Royals as well.
Blue burst onto the scene with a breakout campaign at the age of 21 in 1971 (24-8, 1.82 ERA, 301 K, 0.95 WHIP) winning the American League Cy Young and MVP awards for his strong campaign. Blue would also end up being a six-time All-Star and a three-time World Series champion, and after news of his passing broke, baseball fans everywhere took to Twitter to pen heartfelt messages in honor of Blue.
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 family🙏🏿🙏🏿
— Dave “Smoke” Stewart (@Dsmoke34) May 7, 2023
Such sad news. Vida Blue was a shooting star from the moment he entered baseball. And he never stopped leaving his mark on everyone around him through a remarkable life. https://t.co/skwa6S1w6Z
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) May 7, 2023
Devastated by the loss of friend Vida Blue. I wore Riddell cleats during my junior and senior years in high school partly because of him. We became good friends during my years covering the Giants in the 90s. The annual phone calls on July 28 won’t be the same. RIP pic.twitter.com/nxzlMTZWRF
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 7, 2023
Damn. This one hurts. Vida Blue was a superhero to black people in the 70’s. I remember seeing him on the cover of Jet Magazine. I remember hearing the elders talk about him with extreme reverence. Then I got to meet him and you find out the he was literally the best. https://t.co/3AZ8GbNiWP
— Rod Brooks (@rodbrooks_qh) May 7, 2023
RIP legendary Vida Blue, the former MVP, Cy Young, and 3-time World Series champion https://t.co/3egk65a6Tb
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 7, 2023
My baseball glove..bought it at a baseball show in 1984..used it my entire softball career Evan used it in high school..the best glove I’ve ever had ..it was a prototype glove created for a left handed major leaguer by Mizuno..that major leaguer was Vida Blue..it never leaves me pic.twitter.com/AvbJdv9a4W
— Marty Lurie (@baseballmarty) May 7, 2023
A statement from the Oakland A's on the passing of Vida Blue. pic.twitter.com/fAMIU7MHCO
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 7, 2023
Blue was a winner through-and-through during his career, and while he had some inconsistent seasons along the way, there wasn't a better pitcher in the majors than him when he was at his peak. Blue had a massive impact on the MLB as a whole, and the outpouring of love in the tweets above show just how big an impact the dominant left-hander had.
Following his playing career, Blue spent time as a broadcaster for the Giants, which was the team he ended up finishing his career with. However, it was Blue's accomplishments with the Athletics, particularly his legendary 1971 campaign previously mentioned, that he will be most remembered for. The MLB lost one of their legends today, though, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends that Blue has tragically left behind.