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11/07/2003  4:26 PM ET 
Roland Hemond to receive 2003 Branch Rickey Award

DENVER -- Roland Hemond, executive advisor to the general manager of the Chicago White Sox has been named the winner of the 2003 Branch Rickey Award, presented by the Rotary Club of Denver.

Hemond will be honored at the 12th Annual Branch Rickey Award dinner Friday, Nov. 14 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center Hotel.

The Branch Rickey award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991 to honor individuals in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their community and who are strong role models for others.

Hemond, 73, has had a long and distinguished career in Major League Baseball. He spent 16 seasons as general manager of the White Sox (1970-85) and eight seasons as general manager of the Baltimore Orioles (1988-95). He was a three-time winner of Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year award. He was honored by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association with the Judge Emil Fuchs Memorial Award for long and meritorious service to baseball.

As a tribute to his contributions to baseball scouts and scouting, the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) has created the Roland Hemond Award, which will continue to be presented annually at the SABR national convention. Hemond has also compiled an impressive community service record including:

  • President, Association of Professional Ballplayers of America (APBPA), helping former and current players and personnel in need

  • Served on the Chicago Baseball Charities committee for more than 20 years and received its Hallmark Award twice

  • Director, Professional Baseball Foundation.

    In 2003, the Chicago White Sox created the Roland Hemond Award honoring those who are dedicated to bettering the lives of those around them. The Roland Hemond Award will be bestowed upon those who offer extraordinary personal sacrifice for the benefit of others Hemond was chosen for the 12th annual Branch Rickey Award from a slate of nominees submitted by Major League Baseball clubs. The selection committee included sports media, Rotary district governors and others associated with Major League Baseball.

    Proceeds from the Nov. 14 dinner will benefit Denver Kids, Inc., a program for at-risk students in the Denver Public Schools. Denver Kids matches youths with mentors, who serve as role models. Eighty-five percent of Denver Kids graduate from high school, vs. 65 percent of all DPS students.

    The late Branch Rickey, known to millions as "Mr. Baseball," is credited with breaking the color barrier in the major leagues in 1945 by signing Jackie Robinson, the first modern day African-American player. Rickey also helped develop the farm system in baseball and stimulated the sports expansion into more cities. As an advocate for underprivileged children, he spearheaded the development of the famous "Knot Hole Gang," which provided kids with the chance to attend big league games.

    Previous recipients of the award include: Dave Winfield, Toronto Blue Jays; Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins; Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals; Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres; Brett Butler, Los Angeles Dodgers; Craig Biggio, Houston Astros; Paul Molitor, Minnesota Twins; Al Leiter, New York Mets; Todd Stottlemyre, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Curt Schilling, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Bobby Valentine, New York Mets.

    The Branch Rickey award is a bronze sculpture of a baseball player, created by internationally renowned sculptor George Lundeen.

    Tickets to the Branch Rickey Award benefit dinner on Nov. 14 are $150 per person. Tables and sponsorships are available. For information, call 303-893-1919 or go online at

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