Roland Hemond, mentor to Phillies’ Dave Dombrowski, passes away

CHICAGO - UNDATED 1983:Roland Hemond of the Chicago White Sox pose before a MLB game at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Roland was the General Manager with the Chicago White Sox from 1970-1985. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CHICAGO - UNDATED 1983:Roland Hemond of the Chicago White Sox pose before a MLB game at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Roland was the General Manager with the Chicago White Sox from 1970-1985. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Roland Hemond, mentor to Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, has passed away at 92

Roland Hemond, a giant of Major League Baseball, passed away this week at 92 years old.

Among his many roles in the game he loved, Hemond was a mentor to Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies’ president of baseball operations since December 2020.

Their relationship dated back to Dombrowski’s college days at Western Michigan University. In 1977, the 21-year-old senior, who was majoring in business administration, wrote a 77-page honors thesis: “The General Manager: The Man in the Middle.” Hemond is cited three times in the thesis’ lengthy list of sources.

In order to do comprehensive research for his thesis, Dombrowski sent questionnaires to every MLB GM. Seven GMs sent back completed questionnaires and others let Dombrowski interview them, including then-Phillies GM.

Hemond was one of the executives who agreed to be interviewed by the eager student, and he invited him to a White Sox game at the beautiful old Comiskey Park. He was also the one who recommended Dombrowski go to the Winter Meetings, perhaps foreseeing that the young undergrad would soon be a pivotal figure at them.

By the time the Winter Meetings were over, Hemond’s White Sox had hired Dombrowski as an administrative assistant. A decade later, he departed to become the Montreal Expos GM, the youngest in the league at 31 years old. The rest, as they say, is history.

"“My mentor was definitely Roland Hemond of the White Sox.  He took me under his wings and without his help, I never would have been able to have my career. Hopefully I have helped many individuals experience growth in their careers. As you gain more experiences in your career I think it is a responsibility to help others.”Dave Dombrowski"

Roland Hemond had a legendary MLB career

Growing up in Rhode Island, Hemond fell in love with the Red Sox in the 1930s and 40s. In the kind of magical twist that only baseball can bring, his first game at Fenway was a doubleheader against the White Sox. His first job in the industry was with the Boston Braves’ farm team in Hartford, Connecticut. He was then promoted to the big league office, which soon moved from Boston to Milwaukee.

While with the Braves, Hemond married into the Quinn family, who worked in baseball management for four generations. His father-in-law John Quinn then left his post as Braves GM to take the same job with the Phillies.

Hemond then left to take the farm and scouting director role with a new expansion team, the California Angels. After ten years, he joined the White Sox. Seven years later, he met Dombrowski.

Hemond’s impact reaches far and wide, but Phillies fans should be especially grateful for the ways he benefitted their favorite team. He helped create the Arizona Fall League, where Bryson Stott recently put himself on the map.

And when the Phillies win a World Series because of the team Dombrowski constructs, fans should take a minute to thank Hemond, for seeing the spark in a young college student all those years ago.

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