Role in the film
Al checks Mel and says that he will die soon as he's been a smoker for years and has only six months to live. He has been in throughout the championship game, but he gets tired after 156 pitches. When George Knox goes out to the mound, everyone thinks he's going to take Mel out, but he instead gives him some motivation, with help from Roger Bowman, the team, and finally, the entire audience, as well as Hank Murphy and the sportscasters (minus Ranch Wilder).
Mel makes his pitch and after his opponent hits the ball, he dives and catches it with his glove, therefore, clinching the game and the pennant for the Angels. George tells him that they really didn't need the team's help and that he did it on his own.