No-no thrower Vida Blue wins MVP, 44 years ago today

The Oakland Athletics’ Vida Blue, who in 1970 became the youngest modern-era pitcher to throw a no-hitter, became the youngest player to win an MVP award, 44 years ago today.

Blue was 22 when he earned the 1971 MVP award (as well as the 1971 Cy Young Award) with a 24-8 record and a league leading 1.82 ERA. Blue topped Sal Bando (.271, 24 HR, 94 RBI) and Frank Robinson (.281, 28 HR, 99 RBI) in the MVP voting, and edged out Detroit Tigers pitcher Mickey Lolich (25-14, 2.92 ERA) in the Cy Young voting.

On Monday, September 21, 1970, Blue no-hit the Minnesota Twins at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum for a 6-0 victory. At 21 years, 1 month and 24 days, Blue set the new modern-era mark for a youngster. Looking back another century, the New York Giants’ Amos Rusie threw a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Grooms in 1891 at the age of 20 years, 2 months and 1 day.