In Memory of Roland Hemond (October 26, 1929 – December 12, 2021)

He actually WAS one of the truly nice guys, in baseball or anywhere else. 

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Harry Caray interviews Roland Hemond in 1975

When someone dies, the easiest thing to say is “S/he was so nice.”

Roland Hemond was 92 when he didn’t wake up Sunday, December 12th, 2021.

He actually WAS one of the truly nice guys, in baseball or anywhere else. He grew up in Rhode Island and never lost his New England accent, even though he was a Major League Baseball executive in Hartford, Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, and Arizona during his 50+ years in baseball.

I spent time with Roland when he was general manager of the White Sox when Bill Veeck owned the team in the 1970’s. He was diligent, knowledgeable, and impeccably fair. He loved people, particularly baseball people. 

Of his many awards, Roland probably most cherished the Buck O’Neil prize for “an individual who enhances baseball’s positive image in society, who broadens the game’s appeal and whose integrity and dignity are comparable to the namesake, John Jordan ‘Buck’ O’Neil,” a pillar of the old Negro Leagues who finally was voted into the Hall of Fame in December, 2021. Roland also was executive of the year three times, in 1972, 1983, and 1989.

Old school, but incredibly young at heart, he and his wife Margo had five children. He will be missed by anyone who ever met him.

This clip is a pre-game interview Roland did with Harry Caray in 1975. It illustrates their relationship and Hemond’s command of inside baseball. 

 

 

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