Sunday, August 21, 2011

1976 Hostess #20 - Vida Blue

  • I just picked up a bunch of Hostess cards from eBay. They aren't in the best of condition, but they'll do for now. :)
  • Vida Blue was one of the best pitchers in baseball in the 1970s. His only bad years were 1972 and 1979. He also had a losing record in 1977, but a lot of that was due to the A's being decimated by trades and free agency.
  • Vida's first full season in the majors was a magical one. In 1971 he went 24-8 with a league-leading 1.82 ERA. Blue was the AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner that year.
  • Blue was an AL All Star in 1971 and in 1975. 
    • Vida was the winning pitcher in the 1971 All Star Game in spite of giving up three runs in three innings pitched. He gave up home runs to Hank Aaron and Johnny Bench
    • He started the 1975 All Star Game and gave up solo homers to Jimmy Wynn and Steve Garvey
  • Vida had another good (and also tumultuous) year in 1976. He had a record of 18-13 and a 2.35 ERA
  • Oakland owner Charlie Finley attempted to sell Blue to the New York Yankees in June. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the sale because it was inconsistent with the best interests of baseball.
  • On August 28 Blue came within two outs of pitching a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. Mickey Stanley broke it up with a solo shot in the 9th inning.
  • The A's remained in the 1976 AL West chase until the last weekend of the season. On October 1, Blue pitched well against the California Angels but took the loss when Rusty Torres hit a home run in the 12th inning. The Oakland players were very upset with Finley after the game because of his lack of support for the club.
  • Finley offered to sell Blue to the Boston Red Sox after the 1976 season, but the Red Sox rejected the offer.

1 comment:

  1. I like this card. I am a big fan of Hostess cards of mid 70s - tough to find them for reasonable prices. Even though I scored most of the Angels games of '76 (still have the scorebooks too!) I couldn't find the 10/1/76 12 inning game and don't remember it. Who leaves a starter in for 12 innings anymore? Those days are just plain over, aren't they? It's amazing if the starter sees the 8th inning anymore.