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Mr. Melvin Didier (Deceased)
Nickname: Mel

Home:
1338 E. Friess
Phoenix, AZ 85022

Work:
Home Phone:
Work Phone:
Fax:
Email:
602-547-0051
817-821-8085
--
elenadidi2@gmail.com
Please visit the Archives News (click on any news article, then the upper left of the new page) and click on September & 2017 to view the headlines of those articles, then click on the headlines of his full obituary with photos/links, etc.


* * * * *

Sept. 20, 2017

Mel J. Didier, Sr., legendary MLB scout, college and high school coach, passed away in the evening of Sept.10th, 2017. He was 91. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Elena, and children Mel, Jr. (wife Susan), Bob, Cindee, Lori D. Stevens (husband Kevin), and brother Gerald (wife Marti). Mel was the son of Edith and Robert I. Didier, Sr. Mel was preceded in death by brothers Robert, Clyde, Raymond, and Pearce. Mel grew up in Baton Rouge and played sports for Catholic High.

He had a storied career at LSU (football and baseball). After college, Mel signed with the Detroit Tigers but a shoulder injury caused him to pursue a coaching career. He inspired countless young men at Catholic High (BR), Opelousas High, and Glen Oaks Sr. High in Baton Rouge.

Mel worked as a college coach at LSU (for Charlie Mac) and made a huge mark on the UL baseball program as their coach and Athletic Director.

Mel's greatest work was in MLB baseball as a scout and in the front office of a few major league teams. He signed a number of MLB standouts before moving into the front office of the Expos, Mariners and D'Backs (3 major league expansion teams).

His ability to organize and create great farm systems made him highly sought after. He worked in Los Angeles (influencing the famous Kirk Gibson HR and a victory in the 1988 World Series).

His latest role was a special advisor scout for the Blue Jays. Mel's wife Elena asks in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor the memory of Mel, please send donations to the Professional Baseball Scouts' Foundation, 3914 Corte Cancion, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. Funeral: St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Scottsdale, AZ on Monday, Sept. 25th at 11 AM.

Posted in the Arizona Republic. Information provided by Elena Didier to the AN.

* * * * *

Athletic Director, 1982.
Head Baseball Coach, 1981 & 1982.
Currently assistant to the General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Major League Scout.

Honor humbles Didier

January 15, 2006 -
Annual pro baseball banquet doesn't have to go far for this year's honoree.

Steve Peloquin
Sports Correspondent

The Lafayette Parish Housing Authority's annual Professional Baseball Banquet is always special.
Since 1999, the event has brought high-profile baseball names to the Acadiana area to aid in its primary goal, helping children in government housing succeed in life.

This year's banquet may have even been more special, because it honored former UL Ragin' Cajun head baseball coach and athletic director Mel Didier, who currently works for the Texas Rangers as a special assignment scout.

"I feel truly honored," said Didier, who was 73-48 in his two years as head man of the Cajuns in 1981-82. "Even though I live in Phoenix now, I still feel like this is home. I can't tell you how appreciative I am, not only for being honored tonight, but for all the great things that this area has given to me."
As part of the festivities for the evening, a video package featured Didier in some of his early scouting days with the Montreal Expos, as well as stops with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks, before joining the Rangers.

"The UL program won close to 80 games in the two years that he was here, and he was an integral part of helping the program take the next step upward," said Housing Authority Executive Director Walter Guillory, a former Cajun who played under Didier. "There's so many people that he's touched, not only in baseball, but outside of the game as well, and they are better people because of it."

Dave Stewart, the 1989 World Series Most Valuable Player who won 84 games with the Oakland A's between 1987-90, is one of the players that was impacted by Didier.

"I've known Mel since I started out in the Dodgers' organization at the age of 18 and he was a scout there," Stewart said. "They could not pick a better person to honor, as he's been such a positive influence on my life, and a lot of people's lives."

Stewart, along with Mike Scoiscia, Kirk Gibson, Buck Showalter, Ron Guidry, Andre Dawson, and Tom Lasorda, have all taken part in the Lafayette Housing Authority's previous banquets.

"We have to provide avenues to succeed for all the young people that reside in public housing," said Guillory. "This banquet has afforded us the opportunity to have tutorial programs, computer programs, along with our social and educational programs, so it has helped us out tremendously.

"We've been able to get some big names in baseball to come here because this is a worthwhile cause," said Guillory. "When guys get to see what we're doing, it helps them to understand the magnitude of the cause."

"I believe in what we're trying to get accomplished here," said Stewart, who has been at the banquet every year since its inception. "If Walter Guillory could do it by himself, I'm sure he would try, but sometimes you need a little help, and I'm happy to give whatever I can."

"I really think the tip-off on how the players feel about this event, and how successful it is, is that they keep coming back," said Didier. "This banquet is fun, well-organized, and for a great cause, so anybody that has ever attended has nothing but really good things to say about the event and the community."

Colorado Rockies pitcher Scott Dohmann, along with fellow former UL players Phil Devey and Dallas Morris, were just a few of the ex-Cajuns that took part in the festivities.

"I felt in my time here that Ragin' Cajun baseball, and college baseball in general, was going to be something special," said Didier. "I'm so proud of Tony Robichaux (UL head baseball coach), all of his players, and all of the players that have ever put on a UL uniform, for helping to take that program to the level that I had envisioned."

Originally published January 15, 2006

Added June 22, 2003 - Didier to enter La. Sports Hall of Fame

June 22, 2003 - NATCHITOCHES � Mel Didier has a lot of honors on his plate this summer.

Earlier this month, Didier was honored during the 50th reunion of players and coaches of the Baton Rouge Glen Oaks football team that he coached to the Class AAA semifinals.

He is celebrating his 50th season as a professional baseball scout or administrator.

And he will be honored with the state�s highest athletic accolade Saturday night when he is inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame during that organization�s annual ceremonies.

�When they called me, I broke down because it is such an honor,� Didier said. �I just wish my mom and dad were alive to share this with me.�

Equally proud is Didier, the son of the late Nicholls State athletic director and baseball coach Ray Didier, of the company he will join in the Hall.

�I�m going in with my namesake, Mel Ott,� Didier said. �My dad was a great catcher as a young boy. He played with semipros, and he played against and with Mel in Gretna. And my mother got to know Mel and really loved him. She really thought a lot of him. So when I was born, she called me Melvin after Melvin Ott.�

But Didier�s name is not what got him to the Hall of Fame. He deserves residency for a number of accomplishments.

Not the least of which were his stint at then-USL, where he served as baseball coach and also for a period as athletic director. He took over the program for the 1981 season as the Ragin� Cajuns� first full-time baseball mentor, and guided that team to a 40-23 record � at the time, the most wins in a season in the program�s history.

He also had a 32-25-1 record in 1982 before moving into the athletic director�s chair full-time, but Didier was happier with a different number than those 72 wins in two years.

�The proudest thing about that group of kids, for me,� he said, �is 26 of the 27 players got degrees.�

Didier�s prep and college roots are in Louisiana, but major league baseball has been his love for the past three decades. Currently a special assignment scout with the Texas Rangers, Didier has achieved success with nine different major league organizations.

He�s the only person to aid in the start-up of three expansion teams � scouting director for the Montreal Expos, director of player personnel for the Seattle Mariners and director of player development for the Arizona Diamondbacks � but his proudest moments came while with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

One of the proudest may have produced one of the top moments in baseball history. The Dodgers, on their way to the National League championship series in 1988, had assigned Didier to scout the Oakland Athletics. He noticed a consistency in A�s closer Dennis Eckersley.

�I noticed when he had left-handed hitters 3-2, he would throw a back-door slider,� Didier said. �He did that only with left-handed hitters.�

So when Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda had Didier give his scouting report to the team prior to the World Series, he made sure to emphasize this to the lefties.

�I told them, �he�s got a great (back door slider),� Didier said. �He gets you 3-2, and you can bank on it.�

Nobody took it to the bank like Kirk Gibson. With the Dodgers trailing 3-2 with two out and Mike Davis on first base in Game One, Gibson, who had been sitting out with leg injuries, limped to the plate as a pinch-hitter for his only at-bat of the Series. He worked the count to 3-2 against Eckersley.

�If you look at the tape of the game, you can see Gibson smile,� Didier said.

�(Didier�s) words rang in my mind,� Gibson said afterward. ��If you get him to 3-2, be ready to step into it because it will be a back-door slider.��

Gibson hit the low slider off his front foot into the fifth row of the right-field seats to win the game. Sparked by the unlikely limp-off home run, the Dodgers won the Series in five games.

�It was by far my greatest accomplishment because it was ranked as one of the 10 greatest baseball feats in the history of the World Series,� Didier said.�I�ll forever be a part of that. But all I did was tell him. He could have popped it up, he could have hit it on the ground, whatever. He didn�t because he�s a great athlete.�

An all-around athlete at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, Didier signed with LSU before signing with the Detroit Tigers after his junior year. When his career was cut short by an arm injury, he returned to Catholic High to coach football and baseball and won a state baseball title in 1953.

Later, he guided LSU�s freshman football team to back-to-back unbeaten seasons before pro baseball summoned again. It�s that spectrum of prep, college and pro success that has earned him a Hall of Fame spot.

Hall of Fame Class of 2003:

Mel Didier joins Dick McCloskey, Joe Dumars, Jim Mora, Lee Smith, Billy Joe Dupree and Jim Cason in this year�s Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class. That group will be honored in activities beginning Thursday night in Natchitoches, and the annual induction ceremonies and banquet is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Northwestern State�s Prather Coliseum. Tickets are available by calling (318) 357-6467.



Daily Advertiser
Didier to enter La. Sports Hall of Fame


June 22, 2003 - NATCHITOCHES � Mel Didier has a lot of honors on his plate this summer.

Earlier this month, Didier was honored during the 50th reunion of players and coaches of the Baton Rouge Glen Oaks football team that he coached to the Class AAA semifinals.

He is celebrating his 50th season as a professional baseball scout or administrator.

And he will be honored with the state�s highest athletic accolade Saturday night when he is inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame during that organization�s annual ceremonies.

�When they called me, I broke down because it is such an honor,� Didier said. �I just wish my mom and dad were alive to share this with me.�

Equally proud is Didier, the son of the late Nicholls State athletic director and baseball coach Ray Didier, of the company he will join in the Hall.

�I�m going in with my namesake, Mel Ott,� Didier said. �My dad was a great catcher as a young boy. He played with semipros, and he played against and with Mel in Gretna. And my mother got to know Mel and really loved him. She really thought a lot of him. So when I was born, she called me Melvin after Melvin Ott.�

But Didier�s name is not what got him to the Hall of Fame. He deserves residency for a number of accomplishments.

Not the least of which were his stint at then-USL, where he served as baseball coach and also for a period as athletic director. He took over the program for the 1981 season as the Ragin� Cajuns� first full-time baseball mentor, and guided that team to a 40-23 record � at the time, the most wins in a season in the program�s history.

He also had a 32-25-1 record in 1982 before moving into the athletic director�s chair full-time, but Didier was happier with a different number than those 72 wins in two years.

�The proudest thing about that group of kids, for me,� he said, �is 26 of the 27 players got degrees.�

Didier�s prep and college roots are in Louisiana, but major league baseball has been his love for the past three decades. Currently a special assignment scout with the Texas Rangers, Didier has achieved success with nine different major league organizations.

He�s the only person to aid in the start-up of three expansion teams � scouting director for the Montreal Expos, director of player personnel for the Seattle Mariners and director of player development for the Arizona Diamondbacks � but his proudest moments came while with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

One of the proudest may have produced one of the top moments in baseball history. The Dodgers, on their way to the National League championship series in 1988, had assigned Didier to scout the Oakland Athletics. He noticed a consistency in A�s closer Dennis Eckersley.

�I noticed when he had left-handed hitters 3-2, he would throw a back-door slider,� Didier said. �He did that only with left-handed hitters.�

So when Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda had Didier give his scouting report to the team prior to the World Series, he made sure to emphasize this to the lefties.

�I told them, �he�s got a great (back door slider),� Didier said. �He gets you 3-2, and you can bank on it.�

Nobody took it to the bank like Kirk Gibson. With the Dodgers trailing 3-2 with two out and Mike Davis on first base in Game One, Gibson, who had been sitting out with leg injuries, limped to the plate as a pinch-hitter for his only at-bat of the Series. He worked the count to 3-2 against Eckersley.

�If you look at the tape of the game, you can see Gibson smile,� Didier said.

�(Didier�s) words rang in my mind,� Gibson said afterward. ��If you get him to 3-2, be ready to step into it because it will be a back-door slider.��

Gibson hit the low slider off his front foot into the fifth row of the right-field seats to win the game. Sparked by the unlikely limp-off home run, the Dodgers won the Series in five games.

�It was by far my greatest accomplishment because it was ranked as one of the 10 greatest baseball feats in the history of the World Series,� Didier said.�I�ll forever be a part of that. But all I did was tell him. He could have popped it up, he could have hit it on the ground, whatever. He didn�t because he�s a great athlete.�

An all-around athlete at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, Didier signed with LSU before signing with the Detroit Tigers after his junior year. When his career was cut short by an arm injury, he returned to Catholic High to coach football and baseball and won a state baseball title in 1953.

Later, he guided LSU�s freshman football team to back-to-back unbeaten seasons before pro baseball summoned again. It�s that spectrum of prep, college and pro success that has earned him a Hall of Fame spot.

Hall of Fame Class of 2003:

Mel Didier joins Dick McCloskey, Joe Dumars, Jim Mora, Lee Smith, Billy Joe Dupree and Jim Cason in this year�s Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class. That group will be honored in activities beginning Thursday night in Natchitoches, and the annual induction ceremonies and banquet is Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Northwestern State�s Prather Coliseum. Tickets are available by calling (318) 357-6467.

Lafayette Advertiser - Written for the LSWA.
Administration:  1982
Coaches:  1981, 1982


ICEX