Topic: Vida Blue

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Vida Rochelle Blue Jr. (born July 28, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. During a 17-year career, he pitched for the Oakland Athletics (1969-77), San Francisco Giants (1978-81; 1985-86), and Kansas City Royals (1982-83).

Blue, the oldest of six children, was born and raised in Mansfield, Louisiana. His father worked as a laborer in an iron foundry. In high school he pitched for the baseball team and also was the quarterback for the football team. He received several offers to play college football, but his father died suddenly. Soon after, Blue signed a contract with the Oakland A's.

Unlike many southpaws, Blue was a power pitcher that worked fast and pounded the strike zone. He possessed a breaking curveball that he threw on occasion and an above average change-up, but his signature pitch was a blistering fastball that dialed up to nearly 100 miles per hour. In The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, all-time hits leader Pete Rose stated that Blue 'threw as hard as anyone' he had ever faced, and baseball historian Bill James cited Blue as the hardest-throwing lefty, and the second hardest thrower of his era, to only Nolan Ryan.

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vida Blue."