02 Dec 2007

Baseball Legend Mel Didier Publishes Book ‘Podnuh’Let Me Tell You a Story’

Melvin ‘Mel’ J. Didier, Sr., a legend in baseball, has published a book which spans a career of over 54 years entitled ‘Podnuh ‘ Let Me Tell You a Story.‘ In his book, Didier tells a story of his life in baseball as a player and coach at the high school and collegiate levels and later as a scout and director for professional baseball organizations.

Didier, a 1944 graduate of Catholic High School will be in Baton Rouge on Monday, December 10 at CHS for a book signing and reception to be held in the Union from 4:30 until 6 p.m. Members of the Catholic High School 1953 state championship baseball team will also be in attendance.

While at CHS, Didier was All State in football, All District in basketball and played American Legion baseball because there wasn’t a high school team.

Didier went on to letter in football and baseball at LSU and signed a professional baseball contract in 1948 with the Detroit Tigers.
Due to an injury, he retired from baseball and began a long career in coaching and recruiting.

Didier returned to Catholic High in 1950 to serve as the first head baseball coach. He coached the team to the state title in 1953. He also served as head coach at Opelousas High School and Glen Oaks High School in Baton Rouge.

For a brief period, Didier coached under Charlie McClendon at LSU before becoming the director of scouting for the Montreal Expos Baseball Club in 1969. He continued his career as a baseball scout and director of operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians.

He left major league baseball in 1980 to become the head baseball coach and athletic director at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

In 1982 he returned to the Los Angeles Dodgers as a special assignment scout serving under general managers Al Campanis and Fred Claire. He remained with the Dodgers until December of 1996. He went on to become an assistant to general manager, Joe Garagiola, Jr. of the Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Club and worked for the Baltimore Orioles as a major league scout. Joining the team in 2003, he is presently with the Texas Rangers as special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.

Throughout his career, Didier received multiple honors including Coach of the Year in football for two area high schools for which he was inducted to the Louisiana High School Coaches’ Hall of Fame. He has been honored as a Catholic High School Grizzly Great, an LSU baseball Alumnus of the Year and most recently, as an inductee into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.