Your perception of Vida Blue likely depends, to a large extent, on when you “found” him.

See …

If you were there in the very beginning, when Blue won the American League Cy Young and MVP awards in 1971 right after he turned 22, he will likely always be a founding member of the Oakland A’s dynasty of the 1970s.

But if you came along a few years later, after the A’s were done with their run, and with even the Big Red Machine idling down, you probably think of Blue first as a member of the cross-bay Giants.

And if your first real baseball memories came in 1982, or in 1983? Then Blue just might be Royal Blue to you.

What happened, though, if you came to this crazy-great game and amazing hobby in 1984?

Well …

You might have heard that Blue was suspended that season.

You also might have heard about the legend he built during the 1970s, when he was one of the greatest lefties of his generation, and maybe of all time.

But one thing you wouldn’t have done? You wouldn’t have pulled a 1984 Vida Blue card from a wax pack — or any other type of pack — that summer, because there were no new Blue cards.

The big three must have received Bowie Kuhn’s memo.

And so, the man with 191 victories to his name would have to restart his cardboard journey when he restarted his diamond journey, sometime in 1985 or later.

Except …

Blue didn’t quite draw a complete blank that summer, thanks to some hometown help.

Because Oakland-based Mother’s Cookies was back with its annual run of baseball cards sets in 1984, and during that Olympic summer, one of their issues featured 28 all-time great San Francisco Giants.

And who do you imagine checked in on card #25?

You got it — none other than Vida Rochelle Blue, smiling for the artist in his San Fran uniform and Joe Morgan mustache:

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Didn’t matter that Blue was on the shelf that year.

Didn’t matter that he had spent 1983 in Kansas City.


All that mattered to Mother’s was that the man was a Bay Area legend, and that they had a slot with his name on it.

And, who knows, maybe they greased the skids for the last act of Blue’s amazing career. Because, you know where he ended up, right?


Right back home, with the Giants in 1985 and 1986.

Just like his 1984 Mother’s Cookies card said.

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1984 Mother's Cookies San Francisco Giants Set of 28

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1984 Mother's Cookies #2 Rickey Henderson - A's Team Set - PSA 9

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