Vide Blue & Hodding Carter III
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Blue, a flame-throwing lefty whose 17-year major league career earned him plaudits and three World Series championships with the Oakland Athletics, died May 6 at age 73. In 1971, the 21-year-old pitcher scorched the American League with a seemingly untouchable fastball, piling up 24 wins en route to winning both the American League Cy Young and MVP awards that year. Blue held out for much of the next season attempting to negotiate a new salary with the A’s, sparking a season of quarrels with team management. He denied owner Charlie Finley’s request to change his name to “Vida True Blue.” A trade later sent him to the Giants, and then to the Royals. In Kansas City, Blue became involved in a drug scandal that many say cost him a Hall of Fame nod.
Hodding Carter III
A newspaper editor’s son who played a key political role as the U.S. government mouthpiece during the Iran hostage crisis, Carter died May 11. He was 88. After a stint in the Marine Corps, Carter began a journalism career in the late 1950s at his father’s paper in Greenville, Miss. By the 1960s, Carter was advocating for civil rights in the Deep South and began working for national Democratic candidates. He caught on with Jimmy Carter (no relation) in 1976, turning a campaign post into a job as State Department spokesman. He became a fixture on television when in 1979 Islamic militants took hostage more than 50 Americans.
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