Mansfield, Louisiana Native & HOF Pitcher Vida Blue Has Died
North Louisiana is known for producing athletes. However, typically, when we think of pro athletes from our area, we immediately think pro football. And with good reason. There's tons of top level pro football stars and Hall of Famers from our area. However, perhaps one of the greatest pro athletes from our area didn't play football professionally, he was one of the greatest power pitchers of a generation - Vida Blue. Unfortunately, over the weekend, Vida passed away at the age of 73.
Vida was a Mansfield, Louisiana native. He attended DeSoto High School in Mansfield where he was an ABSOLUTE monster. In his senior year of football, he threw for 3,400 yards and completed 35 touchdown passes while rushing for 1,600 yards. In his senior year of baseball, Blue threw a no-hitter with 21 strikeouts in just seven innings pitched.
As a professional, he was just as dominant. While he didn't make the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, he did make the Athletics Hall of Fame & Giants Wall of Fame. He was an MVP, Cy Young Winner, 6 time All-Star, Won 3 World Series and won an ERA title. How he didn't make Cooperstown is pretty mind blowing. Just look at his stats on Baseball Reference...he had an impressive career. Regardless, you can't undersell what he was able accomplish as a player, especially when he was wearing an Athletics uniform.
On top of his baseball prowess, according to all reports, Vida was a pretty incredible person. He was impactful on the field. He was impactful off the field. He will be greatly missed.