Former O's GM Hemond wins Buck O'Neil Award

Longtime executive is 2nd winner of award, which recognizes positive influence on society

February 23, 2011|By From Sun news services

Former Orioles general manager Roland Hemond was selected Tuesday as the second recipient of the John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hemond, 81, the Orioles' general manager from 1988 to 1995, will receive the honor from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's board of directors July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y., as part of Hall of Fame Weekend.

The award, which is presented not more frequently than every three years, was established in 2007 to honor an individual whose efforts broadened the game's appeal and whose character, integrity and dignity is comparable to that of O'Neil, who died in 2006 after eight decades of contributions to the game. O'Neil was the first recipient, in 2008.

Hemond took over as the Orioles' general manager in 1988 and helped produce a 33-game improvement in 1989, as the team came within two games of a playoff berth. He was named The Sporting News' Major League Baseball Executive of the Year that season. His work later laid the groundwork for the 1996-1997 teams that reached the American League Championship Series.

Hemond was GM of the Chicago White Sox from 1970 to 1985 and previously worked as assistant scouting director of the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950s and as scouting director of the Los Angeles/California Angels from 1961 to 1970.

After working for the Orioles, he was senior executive vice president for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1996 to 2000, then was an executive adviser for the White Sox from 2001 to 2007 before returning to the Diamondbacks as a special assistant to the president in 2007, a position he still holds.

Hemond, who helped form the Arizona Fall League, also serves as the president of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America, which provides financial assistance and college scholarships to current and former players, scouts and others connected with pro baseball, and he helped found the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, which is designed to provide assistance to longtime scouts who need support.

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