Timed perfectly for the finale of this Bay Bridge Series, the latest episode of Forever Giants features Vida Blue, the 92nd player to appear for both the A’s and Giants.
My recollection of Vida Blue was, of course, first that he was a Giant. It wasn’t until I was nine or ten that I learned about his history with the A’s. That blew my mind. Like discovering Barry Zito had this whole other life before really making his mark with the Giants in 2012.
Just six of Blue’s 17 seasons were spent with the Giants, after he was an Athletic for the first nine years of his career, racking up a 2.95 ERA and 105 complete games in 1,945.2 innings. He won the AL Cy Young at age 21 in 1971 and three titles with the A’s, from 1972-1974.
I admire the Giants rushing to appropriate Blue for their purposes. I don’t think there’s a Forever Athletic show, though. Or, maybe it would be called Rooted in Oakland.
It should come as no surprise that he and Renel have a great rapport, and as she walks through his early days, just before he signed a professional contract, we learn how he had to become “the man of the family” after his father passed away while he was still in high school, and that football has always been his preferred sport:
“Football was my love, but I gave baseball all I had, and I’m glad I chose football over baseball any day.”
So are we, Vida Blue.