According to Google, that means A Life Well Done.
One of those ended recently with the passing of pitcher Vida Blue. Well known for his championship seasons with the Oakland A's of the early 1970's, Cy Young, MVP, and Pitcher of the Year awards, and a few no-hitters, Vida was 73.
I have a decent collection of Vida Blue cards, although I don't have a lot of rare or exotic stuff. As a tribute, here it is for your perusal. Please excuse the glare of the pages I left them in during scanning.
The first page of his (and of my second player collection binder), starts the general pattern of Topps and O-Pee-Chee in that order. The classic 1971 was a hard one to duplicate when I built the set a few years after I got this one. I don't have the OPC yet, dangit...and when I do, it's gonna break up this page.
I actually had to steal a couple of the '72 League Leaders from a later binder with Mickey Lolich. I guess I had them in there because he's first on the cards. Will have to pick up second copies of the two I'm missing. (Well, third copy of the Topps, since I have a complete set otherwise as well.)
One of the best color schemes ever on those '75s, and it was repeated on the MVP cards too! This page has a bit of everything with two different SSPC issues and the representation of both Hostess and Kellogg's.
Here is the flip side of the middle row in case you're not familiar with the SSPC short set. Bonus bilingual OPC.
Transitioning to his Giants years, but not until the '77 Cloth Sticker sneaks in. He's so well known for his time in Oakland, but he spent so many years in San Francisco, it makes you think he wasn't there for that long.
Just to keep the young'uns from getting bored with "just lousy base cards", here's the first of the handful of autographs. I almost forgot them, but I knew I was missing something. (I store my autos and gamers in holders in a drawer separate from the binders and sets.)
Crossing into the 80's, so now they're ordered alphabetically by company. This page is pretty diverse too.
In person autographs, authentic or not, go a long way to make '82 Fleer a lot more interesting. The plain cardboard behind the K-Mart card is another one just like it, but with a blank back. I don't remember where I got that, but it was worth the likely 25¢ price for the novelty.
Don't turn off the scanner yet! Had to pull out the oddball binder again and find the full panel from the '81 ScratchOffs. Double shot of PCs on this one with Dusty too.
Now we're up to the time when Blue actually wore blue. Don't think I ever saw him play for KC... One of the more classic Super Star Specials in '83 Fleer.
His cardography skips a couple years until he reappears on the Giants. Half of my unusual stuff has him in the orange and black. The scanner got close to showing him among the three images on each of those SportFlics cards.
The only Giants auto of his I own. Shout out to Gavin at BBC Breakdown who likes these. Not sure if I got this from him, but he'll be involved down the line here shortly...
Here's the fun stuff ~ Senior League. Though I wonder why he bounced around to so many of the teams. Maybe a lot of the guys did. None of it lasted for too long.
Into the post-career section now. I like those Upper Deck Heroes in the last two spots. I have the oversize version of one of the other group shots. I should look for this one to go with it.
Another diverse page of backs. Sorry, not the greatest scan. We don't show backs a lot in the blogosphere.
Some "Greats" stuff here. I just got that MDA card in trade from the Database this week. I so regret missing a starter set of those Sports Illustrated Greats. Would love to build that set.
A couple empty spots in the next few pages. Only because I must have been adding in the middle of full pages and created some working space. That last card looks a little odd, eh?
I can never remember where half this stuff comes from, but generally it's from quarter or dollar boxes at shows or shops. This one seems to be a leftover from the Super Teams autograph session that got overlooked, or was just some insider dealer's remnants. Who knows?
Would've been a better design than this one. This Timelines was probably cheap though.
More spaces awaiting new cards in the early 2000's. I thought about grouping all the '71 designs into one sheet, but there are actually only around four of them including the actual '71. Seemed like there were more.
I consolidated these into two rows for the scan. Always love 2004 Timeless Teams.
Thanks to Gavin for the last two originals. Love cross-sport designs that work. That '76 is a Topps reprint(?) from something in the 20-teens.
And my final page - the new stuff. I haven't bought Archives for years, but those poster cards are AWESOME. Waiting to find the actual posters in the wild. Yet another BCB creation - how cool is the bubble gum card? Even though the '52 design has been run into the ground, AND I think retro design Chrome is silly, for some reason I really like those 2021 Platinum Anniversarys for my player guys. There are way too many parallels too, but I'll try for them as I find them at reasonable prices.
My last mojo is a combo pair from Golden Age. The A's colors really blend well with this set's hits.
Now I'll bring it home with the unusual stuff. Going in order, there are six of my player guys in these '79 cartoons. Wish they'd have made a lot more.
Here's his 1980 Super...
Not sure what year these came out, but it was during the SFG years, so this should be close to the right spot. I have this one and another cup of Bobby Grich. Unfortunately, they've faded in the sun.
This is one of those early 80's All-Star program inserts. Found a batch of them cheap on SportLots if I recall correctly. It's usually about 50/50 whether I mess with stuff like this.
Now minis like this ~ I love! Have all but the rarest back on these Golden Ages. He shows up a lot in that set.
And the most recent item - this artist created Project 70 card. It's really thick and encased in a sealed holder. Of course, it photographed much better than it scanned. This is the one item that is newer than the Heritage Greatest Moment at the top of the post. Again, I don't usually mess with online exclusive artsy interpretations - mostly because they're generally ugly, but this one was nice - and on sale.
If you made it all the way to the end here, thanks for reading (or skimming or whatever). In any event, if you liked these, you probably agree with me that Vida Blue was one of the coolest dudes and has some of the nicest cards in the history of the hobby.