Legendary pitcher Vida Blue has died at age 73

The Oakland A’s sadly announced the passing of Vida Blue, a former Cy Young-winning pitcher, MVP and six-time All-Star. Blue was 73 years old at the time of his death, although the cause has not been revealed.

The Athletics shared a tribute for Blue, noting that he was a “three-time champion, an MVP, a six-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award winner, and an Oakland A’s Hall of Famer.” Just last month, Blue had attended a ceremony in Oakland honoring the 50-year anniversary of the 1973 championship team.

Blue achieved great success in his career, including pitching a no-hitter in 1970. He then won the AL MVP and Cy Young awards in the same season in 1971, with a 24-8 record, a 1.82 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 301 strikeouts in 312 innings. However, a contract dispute with the team owner led Blue to retire briefly, and he only pitched 151 innings in 1972. Blue then pitched for the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals before his retirement in 1986. His career was marked by 209-161 record, a 3.27 ERA and 2,175 strikeouts.

Former Oakland A’s star Dave Stewart paid tribute to Blue with a heartfelt post on Twitter, saying, “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.”