Gallagher: RIP Mel Didier

From SABR member Danny Gallagher at the Canadian Baseball Network on September 12, 2017:

Mel Didier helped construct many big league franchises but none as much as the Expos.

In the early, tough days of the Expos when they weren’t that competitive on the field except for 1973, Didier was helping to build a solid scouting and farm development system from 1969 to 1975.

Didier scouted, recommended and helped sign prospects such as Larry Parrish, Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter, Jerry White and Warren Cromartie.

Didier, a Blue Jays’ senior advisor in recent years, died Monday at age 90 in hospice care in Phoenix, Ariz., where he had lived for years with his Quebec-born wife Elena, who was an Expos’ secretary when Didier met her.

“Look at what Mel did. He was very good at detecting talent,” recalled Rodger Brulotte, one of Didier’s first scouting assistants in Montreal.

“Mel built the Expos as far as I was concerned,” said Parrish, a free agent who played for the Expos from 1974 to 1981. “Mel, Zack Taylor and Red Smith were all involved in signing me. Zack was the area scout and Red was the East Coast crosschecker but Mel came to the house and talked money. I was offered more money by the Orioles but my dad was sold on Mel and what he stood for.”

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Originally published: September 12, 2017. Last Updated: September 12, 2017.