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Roland Hemond Named Baseball Hall Of Fame's Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient02/22/2011 1:29 PM ET
Longtime baseball executive and former Chicago White Sox general manager Roland Hemond will be honored with the prestigious Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award this summer, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.
The award is presented by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors not more than once every three years. It is an honor bestowed on an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil in his life and career in baseball. The award, named after the late O'Neil, was first given in 2008, with the Negro League legend being the very first recipient. Hemond becomes just the second.
"When you read a description of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award - character, integrity, dignity, extraordinary efforts and positive impact - you truly are reading a description of Roland Hemond," said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox and a member of the Hall of Fame's board. "No one in baseball is more deserving of this honor, so it is very appropriate that Roland follows Buck as the second recipient."
"From his achievements over 23 years as a general manager, his impact on the game through programs like the Major League Baseball employee pension plan and forward-thinking ideas like the creation of the Arizona Fall League, Roland has left a lasting impression on the game," Reinsdorf continued. "But the award is about even more than lasting accomplishments. It also recognizes and honors the attitude, optimism and positive approach Roland brought to the ballpark each and every day and the wonderful friendships he has maintained within the game and with literally thousands of baseball fans over the years."
As general manager of the White Sox (1970-85), Hemond was named Executive of the Year in 1972 and again in 1983. The 1972 White Sox, managed by Chuck Tanner, went 87-67 for the organization's first winning record in five seasons. The 1983 Sox finished 99-63 to capture the American League West title by 20 games, then a record for the largest division-winning margin. Hemond also served with the Sox from 2000-07 as executive advisor to general manager Ken Williams. The White Sox captured the franchise's first World Series title in 88 years in 2005.
Hemond, who has spent 58 years in baseball, is president of the Association of Professional Ballplayers of America, a non-profit organization that helps former and current players and baseball personnel in need. Along with White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert and scout Dave Yoakum and New York Mets scout Harry Minor, Hemond helped found the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation to provide assistance to longtime scouts in need of special support.
Three annual awards are named in Hemond's honor, including the Roland Hemond Award, presented by the White Sox to honor individuals dedicated to bettering the lives of others through extraordinary personal sacrifice. White Sox great Bill Pierce received the 2010 Roland Hemond Award for raising over $11 million for cancer patient care, education and research programs since his playing career ended.
Hemond will receive the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in conjunction with this summer's Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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