He also led the club in speaking his mind; usually good for one or two critical outbursts a season. He'd rip teammates and club personnel if he felt it were necessary. At times, that endeared him to fans while rankling teammates and/or club officials.
Mora was an enigma. He could pout and lose focus and act like the typical privileged athlete of this generation. And he could also show support and compassion for his community that is so rare these days. He chose to live in the Baltimore area year-round, which got him a whole lot of points around here.
I'll tell you this much: No professional athlete I have covered supplied me with more humorous, head-shaking moments (most of which I couldn't print) than Melvin, who said some genuinely hilarious things, some of which weren't even meant to be funny.
Here's a quick one. Melvin was once up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game when an errant pitch headed right for his back. Instinctively, Melvin shot to the ground – even though if the pitch had hit him, it would have won the game.
A few pitches later, Melvin walked and the Orioles won anyway. Afterward, we interviewed Jerry Hairston, one of the more loquacious players I have covered. Hairston joked that the next day the team was going to send Melvin out for early hit-by-pitch practice.