Stephen: Longtime Dodgers scout Mel Didier dies at 90

From SABR member Eric Stephen at True Blue LA on September 11, 2017:

One of the unsung heroes in Dodgers history has passed away. Longtime scout Mel Didier has died at age 90.

“Mel had a tremendous career in sports whether coaching football, his personal friendship with the legendary Bear Bryant or his unbelievably successful career in baseball,” the Blue Jays — one of several teams Didier worked for — released in a statement. “Mel was a dear friend to everyone in baseball. Few men in our great game have had universal admiration throughout baseball as Mel Didier did.”

Reports surfaced two weeks ago that Didier was not doing well, which prompted this rare tweet from former Dodger Kirk Gibson:

“Padner…as sure as I’m standing here breathing…you gonna see a 3-2 back door slider.” Mel Didier

The Louisiana native Didier was known for his southern drawl and called nearly everyone Partner, or “Podnuh” as he spelled it in the title of his autobiography.

Gibson and Didier are forever linked in Dodgers history, for it was Didier’s scouting report on A’s closer Dennis Eckersley that had Gibson looking for a backdoor slider on a full count in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

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Originally published: September 11, 2017. Last Updated: September 11, 2017.