"Today I lost my mentor Mel Didier. Mel Didier signed me to my contract in 1973. He was a mentor to me and to Andre Dawson and the entire Montreal Expos farm system in the mid-70s. He was the reason the Expos always had a strong farm system, which would come to define the franchise throughout their history. His work molded players like Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter, Larry Parish Jerry White, and Tony Scott, to name a few. He ran spring training in Daytona Beach like no other could. He had us focused, learning the fundamentals, always blowing his bullhorn, which you would hear throughout the day in spring training. His favourite word was "Tempo! Tempo!". His intensity defined him, and we were all better for it.
He was the only scout willing to visit a predominantly black Florida A&M University at the time to recruit Andre Dawson, who we all know went on to have a phenomenal Hall of Fame career. Race didn't matter to him at all.
He would always look at you in the eye, and face to face, with that Lafayette, Louisiana twang he had. The impact he had on all of us during our time in the minor leagues was instrumental in our careers. I owe him everything as a Montreal Expo and will never forget him. I am heartbroken today."
Warren Cromartie signing his first professional contract in 1973, accompanied by Mel Didier of the Expos and coach Demie Mainieri