White Sox honor selfless fan
Club gives Roland Hemond Award to Tinley Park local
CHICAGO -- Some White Sox fans say they would have given up anything for tickets to see the Sox in the 2005 World Series. One Sox fan gave up his tickets for those who had lost everything.
Ryan Devlin of Tinley Park was honored before Saturday's game with the Roland Hemond Award for selling his World Series tickets to finance his trip to New Orleans to help in the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast on August 28, 2005. He accepted the award from Hemond himself, while wearing a Jim Thome 2006 All-Star Game jersey.
After hearing about and seeing the devastation on TV, Devlin took up a collection in his neighborhood seeking supplies, water, food, clothing and toys to help the hurricane victims. He rented a van and drove the supplies down to New Orleans himself. To pay for the trip, Devlin, a lifelong Sox fan, sold his World Series tickets.
"It is a pleasure to have a humanitarian like Ryan Devlin as a fan," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. "His concern for others took precedence over a lifelong dream of seeing the White Sox in a World Series."
The Sox established the Roland Hemond Award in 2003 to honor people who dedicate their lives to bettering the lives of those around them. Hemond currently serves as executive advisor to general manager Ken Williams and was general manager himself from 1971-1985. Hemond has won Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year Award three times.
"This award celebrates the character and kindness of Roland Hemond, while at the same time showing our appreciation for the unselfish nature of people like Ryan Devlin," Reinsdorf said. "It serves as a tribute to Roland and honors his commitment and selfless service to the community."
Along with the award, Devlin was a guest of the White Sox at the All-Star Game, went to Spring Training in Tucson, threw out the first pitch on Opening Day and the White Sox paid for his season tickets.
Major League Baseball raised over $3 million for hurricane relief and built 20 homes in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.
Leslie Parker is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.