Roland Hemond has been in baseball since 1951. After high school he spent four years in the Coast Guard, then got a job with the Hartford Chiefs in 1951, doing just about everything from sweeping the stands to answering phones. He moved to the Boston Braves as a temporary assistant. Two years later he became assistant farm director of the Milwaukee Braves. Hemond was then hired as farm and scouting director of the expansion Los Angeles Angels by GM Fred Haney, who knew Hemond from his days as manager of the Milwaukee Braves.
He was hired as the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1973. In 14 years with the White Sox, he was named Executive of the Year in 1972 and 1983. After a year as special advisor to Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, he served as GM of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988 to 1995 and again was named Executive of the Year in 1989. Hemond joined the Arizona Diamondbacks when the team was created in 1996 and was assistant GM of the team from 1988 to 2000. From 2000 to 2007, he was an adviser to the White Sox. He was in the front office staff when the club won the 2005 World Series. In 2007 he returned to the Diamondbacks as Special Assistant to the President and CEO.
The Hemond family has quite a lineage in sports management. His father in law, John Quinn was a general manager for 28 years and his brother-in-law Bob Quinn was also a major league general manager. His son, Bob Hemond, is the general manager for the Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League. Another son, Jay Hemond, played a small role of a baseball player in the movie Field of Dreams and served as the film's baseball trainer.
He has been an executive for seven teams and three times was named Major League Executive of the Year - by The Sporting News in 1972 with the White Sox and in 1989 with Baltimore and by United Press International in 1983 for his work with the White Sox. Through the years, Hemond groomed such executives as Dave Dombrowski, Walt Jocketty, Dan Evans and Doug Melvin. He helped create the Arizona Fall League and played a significant role in Team USA's preparation for the Pan American Games and the 2000 Olympics.
In 2003, Hemond was the recipient of the Branch Rickey Award, which is given to the major league personality who best demonstrates exemplary community service. In 2015, the Diamondbacks named a Little League Baseball field in Phoenix, AZ in his honor.
He comes from a French-Canadian family and has often expressed pride in his heritage. He served as a guest analyst on postseason broadcasts for French-language television in Quebec in the early 1980s. When the White Sox made a trade with the Montreal Expos at the 1984 Winter Meetings, he announced it in French to a bemused media contingent. Franco-American pitcher Bert Roberge was one of the players involved in that trade; when Hemond had signed him as free agent a year earlier, he told the press jokingly that he had done so "first because he's French, second because I think he can pitch".
|Chicago White Sox General Manager
|Baltimore Orioles General Manager
- Mort Bloomberg: "Roland Hemond", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 37, 2008, pp. 9-14.