Hemond left mark on D-backs' organization

December 14th, 2021

PHOENIX -- Roland Hemond, who passed away Monday at the age of 92, was best remembered for his tenures as general manager for the White Sox and Orioles. But his impact was also felt in Arizona, where he helped the expansion D-backs get off the ground and later finished his executive career.

Hemond spent 19 seasons with the D-backs over two stints, first as senior executive vice president of baseball operations from 1996-2000 and, after returning to the White Sox for six seasons, as special assistant to team president/CEO Derrick Hall from 2007-20.

“Roland was one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors, and his impact on the game is beyond measure," the D-backs said in a statement. "We were lucky he was a D-back for 19 years as our organization is better because of his time here. His legacy will live on through those whose lives he touched and mentored on a daily basis as everyone who met him became a friend and had a favorite Roland story. One of his personal mottos, ‘Enjoy the moment,’ serves as a good reminder of a life well lived.”

A fixture at Chase Field, Hemond was honored by the organization in a variety of ways over the years.

In 2012, the team named the executive conference room at Salt River Fields in his honor. In 2015, "Roland Hemond Field," located at Alkire Park in Phoenix, was dedicated as part of the "Diamonds Back" Field Building Program.

Hemond loved sitting in the scouting section behind home plate for games so he could interact with the people he said were the lifeblood of baseball -- scouts.

Hemond had helped found the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation to provide assistance to longtime scouts in need of special support. In 2017, the D-backs renamed the seating area behind home plate "The Roland Hemond Scout Section" to honor his love for that profession.

Each year, the D-backs present an award bearing Hemond's name to an individual in their scouting department "who exemplifies the qualities of strong character, dedication to the organization and an unfailing work ethic in the search for championship-level talent."

During his second tenure with the D-backs, Hemond helped Hall through some stretches when the team struggled.

"He was a great mentor for me and always tried to keep me positive when times were tough," Hall said. "He would come into my office every morning and tell stories that were relevant from his career to what we were experiencing and how he got through it. His memory was impeccable. He remembered every at-bat and pitch of every significant game and could give details. He watched more baseball by himself than my entire staff has collectively, and he loved and enjoyed every game, win or lose. He found poetry in baseball and gave his heart and soul to the game.

"He made our sport better and did so with class, grace, professionalism, respect and humility. He did not know how great and important he was to all of us globally."