Roland Hemond, a longtime baseball scout and executive who won three Executive of the Year awards, died Sunday at the age of 92.
In 2011, Hemond was the second recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which can only be awarded once every three years – the first recipient was O’Neil himself.
Hemond’s baseball career began with the Milwaukee Braves’ recruiting department in 1952, and he was with the organization when they won the World Series in 1957. He joined the Los Angels expansion. Angeles in 1961, then, after helping to get that team off the ground, he served as general manager of the Chicago White Sox from 1970 to 1985, a position he later held for the Baltimore Orioles.
âFrom 1988 to 1995, Hemond guided the Orioles with grace and humility,â the Orioles said in a statement. “Known for his keen sense of talent, Hemond’s tenure has included overhauling the field and front office organization, as well as the club’s move from Memorial Stadium to Oriole Park to Camden Yards.”
While in Baltimore, Hemond was credited with creating the Arizona Fall League, where the game’s top prospects play after the World Series ends.
Hemond was also credited as one of the architects of another expansion team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who hired him as executive vice president in 1996 (the Diamondbacks’ first season was in 1998 ). After five seasons in Arizona, he joined the White Sox as an executive advisor for seven seasons before spending his final years as Special Assistant to Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall starting in 2007. Among his duties with the Diamondbacks was mentoring baseball executives, something he was known to do throughout his decorated career.
“Roland was one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors and his impact on the game is beyond measure,” a statement from Hall and Diamondbacks Managing Partner Ken Kendrick read. âWe were lucky that he was D-Back for 19 years because our organization is better thanks to his stay here. met him became a friend and had a favorite Roland story. One of his personal mottos, “Take advantage of the moment” is a good reminder of a life well lived. “
(Photo of Hemond with the 1981 White Sox coaching staff: Ron Vesely / MLB Photos via Getty Images)