by Bob Feller
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When Larry Dolan bought the Indians from my friend Richard Jacobs, I had the opportunity to speak with Larry. We both immediately agreed—having deep roots in Cleveland—that Mel Harder belonged in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. We thought for sure Mel would make it in 2000, but he didn’t and it saddened me. Mel was not only a great pitcher, winning 223 games and having two 20-plus winning seasons, but he was an excellent pitching coach. He never made you throw the way he threw; he observed his pitchers and had them throw the way they threw when they were at their best on the mound.
Mel threw an excellent sinker ball when he was a player. In fact, he had tremendous success against one of baseball’s greatest players, Joe DiMaggio, because of his sinker ball. Mel was signed by Cy Slapnicka, as was I, and we remain great friends to this day.
From Bob Feller's Little Black Book of Baseball Wisdom by Bob Feller.
Copyright © 2001 by Bob Feller. Reprinted by permission of the McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.