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  • Vida Blue

    From 1969 to 1986 Vida Blue pitched in the majors. In those 17 years, he managed to compile a 209-161 record with a 3.27 ERA. He won 20 games in a season three times and 15 games in a season six times. Only 22 when he was the 1971 AL Cy Young Award winner, AL TSN Pitcher of the Year and AL MVP, Blue went 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA and 301 strikeouts that season.

    Of all the seasons in which he pitched 100 or more innings, Blue had an ERA under 3.00 six times. A six time All-Star, Blue won the NL TSN Pitcher of the Year award in 1978, when he went 18-10 with a 2.79 ERA. Overall in his career, his grey ink was a solid 140. He is statistically similar to three Hall of Fame pitchers: Catfish Hunter, Hal Newhouser and Don Drysdale.

    From 1992 to 1995, he received no less than 14 votes for the Hall of Fame each year.

    So, should Vida Blue be in the Hall of Fame?
    58
    Yes
    8.62%
    5
    No
    65.52%
    38
    Maybe
    25.86%
    15

  • #2
    You compare Blue with three pitchers who are (IMO) borderline HOFers at best. Personally, I don't think he belongs.

    I'm also very dubious about the qualifications of the other three.......

    Comment


    • #3
      Take away 1971 and Blue was just another average pitcher. 1 dominant season is not enough for Cooperstown.

      Comment


      • #4
        --Well he was a good a pitcher in other seasons. Not great maybe, but an All Star level starter. If he hadn't gotten into trouble with drugs its possible he would have added enough solid years to be a reasonable Hall of Fame case. He did though and he doesn't. Similar to Doc Gooden, but not quite as good - and I don't think Gooden is going to be getting much support.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
          Take away 1971 and Blue was just another average pitcher. 1 dominant season is not enough for Cooperstown.
          But he DID have 1971. And he had other outstanding seasons. 1973, 1975, and 1978 were seasons worthy of a HOFer.

          I don't know that I'd support Blue. He fell apart, in no small measure, due to drugs. I really don't know why his career suddenly ended; his final season wasn't that bad. He certainly appeared to have some gas left in the tank. Apparently, he signed with Oakland for 1987 but didn't pitch for them. I wonder what happened.
          "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

          NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
            But he DID have 1971.
            And Maris had 1961. That doesn't make them HOFers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
              And Maris had 1961. That doesn't make them HOFers.
              I don't think you can really use that comparison. Yes, Maris was a two-time MVP, but he didn't even hit 300 career home runs or reach any other plateau. He was also only a .260 career hitter. Blue at least got 200 career wins.

              Maris without 1961, Maris with 1961, and respective averages (rounded):

              1302 G..... 1463 G..... 118 G..... 122 G
              4511 AB..... 5101 AB..... 410 AB..... 425 AB
              694 R..... 826 R..... 63 R..... 69 R
              1166 H..... 1325 H..... 106 H..... 110 H
              179 2B..... 195 2B..... 16 2B..... 16 2B
              38 3B..... 42 3B..... 3 3B..... 4 3B
              214 HR..... 275 HR..... 19 HR..... 23 HR
              709 RBI..... 851 RBI..... 64 RBI..... 71 RBI
              21 SB..... 21 SB..... 2 SB..... 2 SB
              558 BB..... 652 BB..... 51 BB..... 54 BB
              666 K..... 733K..... 61K..... 61 K
              .258 AVG..... .260 AVG..... .2585 AVG..... .259 AVG

              Now this shows two things: that without 1961, Maris would have been no more than average. This also shows that even with 1961, Maris overall put up merely "good" numbers. Consider this: Maris, although he broke Babe Ruth's season record, hit only 275 home runs in his career, which spanned from 1957 to 1968. In that same time, Hank Aaron hit 444 home runs, and eight players hit more than 300 home runs. Maris, even with 1961, wasn't all that great, in my opinion. Look at his comparisons - not one of his comparisons is in the Hall of Fame. Vida Blue has three people that compare favorably to him that are in the Hall of Fame: Catfish Hunter, who is Blue's second most similar pitcher, Newhouser, who is fourth, and Drysdale, who is ninth. Who are Maris' second, fourth and ninth most similar players? Hank Sauer, Jesse Barfield and Danny Tartabull. Clearly, even though they both had one out of this world, great season, Blue still had a better overall career and did great beyond just that one year.

              For example:

              Blue, without 1971, with 1971, and respective averages:

              185 W..... 209 W..... 12 W..... 12 W
              153 L..... 161 L..... 10 L..... 9 L
              463 G..... 502 G..... 29 G..... 30 G
              434 GS..... 473 GS..... 27 GS..... 28 GS
              119 CG..... 143 CG..... 7 CG..... 8 CG
              29 SHO..... 37 SHO..... 2 SHO..... 2 SHO
              3031.3 IP..... 3343.3 IP..... 189 IP..... 197 IP
              2730 H..... 2939 H..... 171 H..... 173 H
              1284 R..... 1357 R..... 80 R..... 80 R
              1150 ER..... 1213 ER..... 72 ER..... 71 ER
              1097 BB..... 1185 BB..... 69 BB..... 70 BB
              1874 K..... 2175 K..... 117 K..... 128 K
              3.41 ERA..... 3.27 ERA..... 3.43 ERA..... 3.24 ERA
              .547 WP .565 WP .545 WP .571 WP


              Now at first this might seem to prove what you were saying about having one great year. But, even without 1971, Blue was still a very good pitcher who averaged nearly 12 wins a season with a sub 3.50 ERA. Maris, without his magical 1961, would be merely a .250s hitter (which he almost was even with his 1961 season). And also, Blue, with 1971, was a better player than Maris was with 1961 (comparably). Maris trailed the home run leader during his career 444-275, or by 169. Vida Blue trailed the wins leader during his career (Carlton) by 84.

              So, in conclusion, you can't really compare Blue with Maris because Maris, even with 1961, wasn't all that great a hitter overall and without 1961 wouldn't have even averaged 20 home runs a year. Blue, on the other hand, with his magical season was a great pitcher overall and even without 1971 still would have been a very good to great pitcher.
              Last edited by Cowtipper; 04-18-2008, 09:14 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                ==Maris' 1961 campaign was not as great a season as Blue's 1971. The HR record will be remembered forever, but Maris was only 4th in OPS+ and his while his 167 represents an outstanding season it is not an all time great figure for a corner outfielder. It was also one of only 3 seasons where he made the top 10. Blue actually did not lead in ERA+ either, but his was 2nd and his 185 (in 312 IP) represents a greater season than Maris'. As for their careers, Blue had twice as many top 10 ERA+ finishes as Maris OPS+.

                Comment


                • #9
                  True story. When I was nine years old I went to the park with my sister and Vida was there pushing his kids on the swings. His wife was hospitalized for one reason or another and he seemed to be putting them at ease. Looked like a nice guy.

                  Then I saw him a few years later outside of one of the "upscale" restaurants in Sonora with what looked like a cool entourage. Still have no idea why he liked the foothills so much.

                  I'd put him in the Hall of Fame because of the proximity factor. Same for Larry Walker. My dad and I once discussed his HOF possibilities while he was out in right field during batting practice. He probably overheard us (it looked that way), so I don't want to let him down.
                  1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988

                  1889 1890 1899 1900 1916 1920
                  1941 1947 1949 1952 1953 1956
                  1966 1974 1977 1978


                  1983 1985 1995 2004 2008 2009
                  2013 2014


                  1996 2006

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                  • #10
                    I voted Maybe.
                    I was looking at similar players on him. Number 1 was Billy Pierce, who may deserve more consideration than he has gotten even though I am not sure he should be in. The only non HOFer on the list that I think deserves strong consideration would be Tiant.
                    As for Blue, he had some very good years outside of 1971. He deserves some consideration.

                    Welcome back ARod. Hope you are a Yankee forever.
                    Phil Rizzuto-a Yankee forever.

                    Holy Cow

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I said "maybe" because I really don't know enough about Blue to make an informed decision. Looking at statistics is one thing, but watching a player in action can sometimes sway the vote one way or the other. On stats alone, he would be borderline in my opinion.
                      The Writer's Journey

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
                        He fell apart, in no small measure, due to drugs. I really don't know why his career suddenly ended; his final season wasn't that bad. He certainly appeared to have some gas left in the tank. Apparently, he signed with Oakland for 1987 but didn't pitch for them. I wonder what happened.
                        He retired abruptly in February 1987, one day before pitchers were to report for spring training. The San Francisco Examiner reported that the surprise retirement was prompted by a positive drug test -- it emerged in March that he'd failed three tests in '86.

                        There was talk of a comeback in July and August, but I guess nobody wanted to take a chance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Ballplayers: Vida Blue

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                          • #14
                            Why Vida Blue and not Billy Pierce?

                            Their careers are extremely similar. Blue's career is far more truncated, but Pierce's career had two back-to-back 20 win seasons, surrounded by a lot of years that look like #2 or #3 starter years.

                            Blue could have been better than he was, and I blame his drug use for at least some of that. But Blue also had a high peak; he was, arguably, the best player on his 1971 team.

                            Pierce gets a decent amount of love in this forum. I think there's a reason to ask why Pierce should get more support than Blue, outside of the drug issue.
                            "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                            NL President Ford Frick, 1947

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              some sabrmetric rates

                              ERA+, Pierce 119, Blue 108
                              OPS+, Pierce 19, Blue -4

                              DERA
                              edition 2008, Pierce 4.01 Blue 4.33
                              edition today, Pierce 4.07 Blue 4.29

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