Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vida Blue (#75)

Signed in person at the fanfest in Toronto in 1991. One of the premier pitchers in the 1970's, he possessed a breaking curveball that he threw on occasion and an above average change-up, but his signature pitch was a blistering fastball that dialed up to nearly 100 miles per hour. On September 11 1970, he shut out the Kansas City Royals 3-0, giving up only one hit, to Pat Kelly in the eighth inning. Ten days later, he no-hit the Minnesota Twins, 6-0, at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, with the lone baserunner being Harmon Killebrew, who walked in the fourth inning. Blue had a 24-8 record in 1971, winning both the Cy Young and MVP awards.[8][9][10] He also led the American League in complete games (24), shutouts (8) and Earned run average (1.82).

Blue won 20 games in 1973, 17 games in 1974, and 22 games in 1975, as an integral member of the Oakland Athletics five straight American League Western Division pennants from 1971-1975, and three consecutive World Championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974. He was a 6× All-Star selection (1971, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981),
and finished his career in 1986 with a 209-161 record and 2175 strikeouts.

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