On August 17, 1971 — During a visit to the White House, 21 year-old Vida Blue, who is presently 22-4, is told by President Nixon that he is the most underpaid player in the game.

Nixon talked baseball dur ing a barbecue dinner at the ranch home of his Treasury Secretary, John B. Connally. The President called Blue “a fine young man,” and said the left‐handed pitcher was underpaid last year when he was the American League’s leading pitcher and won the Cy Young award. The Commander-in-Chief tells the eventual Cy Young Award winner and AL MVP he would like to negotiate the A’s southpaw’s next contract, much to the chagrin of Oakland owner Charlie Finley.

Earlier in the day, Finley had said in Milwaukee that he, could not consider keep ing open his contract offer to Blue, as ordered by the commissioner of baseball, Bowie Kuhn, because of Kuhn’s “one‐way‐street stand in the salary dispute.”

 

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