It was tough to receive the heart-breaking news that was former LA Angels farm and scouting director, Roland Hemond, passing away on Monday.
Hemond was named the expansion Angels farm and scouting director for their first season ever in 1961. The Halos took a chance on a young, 31-year-old, who was told he was "too young" for the job when he was at his previous spot in Milwaukee; where he served as an assistant farm director for the Braves. Hemond was clearly the right man for the job, as the Angels organization grew fast, and even won 86 games in just their second season in the league.
We were lucky enough to have Hemond stick with us for ten years. And despite us being an expansion team, we posted four winning seasons with him over here.
Roland Hemond was significant in developing the LA Angels organization.
And it wasn't just the LA Angels who Roland Hemond helped build from scratch as an expansion team, but he also built the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks too. In 1996 he was named the Senior Executive Vice President for the Snakes, and was there until 2000. Just like Hemond did with the Angels, he had the Diamondbacks winning by Year 2, as they won 100 games to go along with their NL West division title.
Hemond gave this game 60 years of service time, and won three Executive of the Year awards (1972, 1983 and 1989). Creating the Arizona Fall League, he had so many major influences to the Minor Leagues and how MLB can get the most out of their prospects.
Not only did he win two world series (1957 with Milwaukee Braves and 2005 with Chicago White Sox), but he even received a commemorative ring made for him by the Diamondbacks for laying the foundation for their 2001 World Series championship. He's a winner, he was an influencer, and he made this game much better.
The Angels had a great statement that they put out on Twitter for their great former farm and scouting director:
It's tough to see Hemond go, but it's been nice to see everyone paying homage to the man who made this game and this league as great as it is.
He'll always be remembered, as he touched so many different franchises. The Angels are certainly no exception. Without him coming in and doing the job he did for the Halos at such a high level, the Halos may not have survived their entrance into the league.