Vida Blue played Major League baseball from 1970-86, primarily with the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants. He took Major League by storm in 1971 as a 22-year old "flame-throwing lefthander". As he piled up big numbers in wins and strikeouts he became a huge draw at the gate for the AL West Division winning A's. Time Magazine featured him on the cover that same year.
Vida played on the great Oakland A's teams from 1972-74 that won three straight World Series titles. Those teams featured future Hall of Fame greats Reggie Jackson, Jim 'Catfish' Hunter, and relief ace Rollie Fingers. Oakland had a dynamic team that had few weaknesses, but they were also feisty, getting into frequent scraps between themselves in the clubhouse.
After the 1977 season he was traded to the Giants for seven players and helped sparked the Giants in 1978 to resurgence in the standings. San Francisco led the NL West most of 1978 until they faded in September. Vida was the ace of the staff, winning 18 games.
Vida was originally from Monroe, Louisiana where he was also a multi-sport star in high school. In recent years, Vida has worked closely with the ’Junior Giants' community program, helping the Giants organize with local and regional disadvantaged kids in baseball, leagues that were sponsored by the club. Vida, whose name in Spanish means: 'Life' also has been a batting practice pitcher for the Giants in recent years.
San Francisco native Bruce Macgowan has worked in radio/TV and was also a freelance sportswriter for over 35 years. He lives in Fairfax, in Marin County, with his wife and daughter.
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Added by cmargaritafranco on July 22, 2011