Mel Didier

From BR Bullpen

Melvin Joffron Didier

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Mel Didier, the father of Bob Didier, was a minor league pitcher for just two years in Class D, but he spent more than 60 years in pro ball as a scout and executive.

Didier was named for Mel Ott, a family friend who played semipro ball with and against Didier's father.

Two of Didier's brothers, Pearce and Clyde, also played semipro. Three others, Gerald Didier, Bob Didier the elder, and Ray Didier were pro players. Ray was the baseball coach at University of Southwestern Louisiana (1948-1956), Louisiana State University (1957-1963), and Nicholls State University for many years.

Mel Didier pitched in the minor leagues in 1948-1949 before arm injuries ended his career. He then became a scout for the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Braves, and Atlanta Braves. He was an assistant football coach for LSU in 1968-1969.

Didier returned to baseball as the Montreal Expos Scouting Director when the franchise began operations in 1969. He was hired by John McHale, who'd been responsible for signing Didier back in 1948 with the Detroit Tigers. They'd subsequently worked together with the Braves.

Didier was Montreal's Director of Player Development from 1972 to 1975. He left Montreal in September 1975 and became a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He then joined the Seattle Mariners in December 1976 as director of their minor league system and scouting.

Seattle dismissed Didier in September 1978. He scouted for the Cleveland Indians in 1979-1980 before assuming new duties as baseball coach and assistant athletic director at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) in August 1980. He became athletic director in 1982.

He returned to the Dodgers as a scout in January 1983. It was Didier's scouting report that had Kirk Gibson looking for a backdoor slider from Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series.

In early December 1996, another expansion franchise, the Arizona Diamondbacks, hired Didier as their director of player development. The Diamondbacks won a division title in 1999, followed by the World Series in 2001, just their fourth season of big-league play. Both were records for quickest ascent by an expansion team. But Didier wasn’t there to see the World Series win. He resigned in October 2000 and landed with the Indians for the second time in December 2000.

Didier was a pro scout for the Baltimore Orioles in 2002 but the Texas Rangers, led by GM John Hart (who'd been an Expos minor-league catcher), hired Mel as a special assignments scout in January 2003.

The Rangers let Didier go after the 2009 season. Almost immediately, Didier joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a senior advisor. He was still employed in that capacity when he passed away in 2017 at the age of 91.

Didier was renowned for his eye for talent, his ways of developing it, calling people "podnuh", and his skill as a storyteller.

Related Sites[edit]