May 09, 2023

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 4 comments

RIP Vida Blue, a transcendent hero of my high school years.

Hard to put into words what his arrival on the MLB scene was like and what he meant to the A's and the game.

When he first began appearing in newspaper box scores, I though his name was a casual mistake, as one of the stalwarts of the A's staff at the time was Blue Moon Odom.

I wondered why he was being referred to as Blue instead of Odom. Then we all learned the glorious truth. There was a dude named Blue, and he was devastating.

I would frantically go through the sports section of the daily paper looking at the box scores for the outcome of A's games. Back then, the late night West Coast scores didn't make the nightly deadline and were published on the East Coast a day later. Sometimes, the day old box scores weren't included due to space shortages and the fact that the A's had spent a number of years being irrelevant.

It was a challenge keeping up with the West Coast scores and standings. But when Vida became a sensation, newspapers began doing the right thing.

I don't know of too many teams that had as deadly a pair of starting leftys as Vida Blue and Ken Holtzman. The Orioles had Cuellar and McNally. It was a great era of the game.

posted by beaverboard at 11:59 AM on May 09, 2023

Somewhere in this world, I have a Vida Blue autographed baseball.

UniWatch has an incredible list of uniform related trivia pertaining to Mr. Blue (the last one is awesome and 100% new to me)

posted by NoMich at 01:48 PM on May 09, 2023

Baltimore's new city connect baseball uniform looks to have been designed by the same dude that designed Great Britain's uninspired uniform for the World Baseball Classic. Which is such a shame. I usually love the Orioles' uniforms and uniform combos.

posted by NoMich at 01:53 PM on May 09, 2023

That's a great Vida uni link, NoMich, thanks.

Vida and Charlie O. Finley had an interesting relationship. When Vida first came up to the majors and was lights out from the get go, the press found out he was being paid something like $13,000 a year.

Pressure mounted to get him a new contract, which Finley (entirely in character) didn't want to do. Instead, Finley bought Vida a brand new Cadillac. Of course Finley wanted to put on a big show about presenting the car to Vida.

Charlie O. thought the salary question was settled for the year at that point. Until reporters asked Vida what he thought of the car and Vida said he wouldn't be able to accept it because he couldn't afford to put gas in it on his salary. I think Charlie had to get him a gasoline credit card to go with the car.

Vida should have gotten David Price's money and Price should have gotten Vida's money.

posted by beaverboard at 06:12 PM on May 09, 2023

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