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  • Roland Hemond R.I.P....

    I have just received word that former Sox G.M. Roland Hemond has passed away. One of the finest G.M.'s in team history in my opinion given what he had to work with when he was hired in September 1970.

    I was also very proud to call him my friend.

    I'm tied up the next several days but will put something together on his Sox career as soon as possible and will post it.

    He was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.
    Last edited by Lipman 1; 12-13-2021, 04:45 PM.

  • #2
    Roland Hemond’s Best Trades: (in chronological order...)

    1. November 30, 1971: White Sox send Ken Berry, Syd O’Brien and Billy Wynne to California for catcher Tom Egan, starting pitcher Tom Bradley and outfielder Jay Johnstone. (Author’s Note: Bradley would win 15 games with a sub three ERA in both 1971 and 1972. Egan served as a very good backup to Ed Herrmann and Johnstone added speed, pinch hitting abilities and a crazy character to keep the clubhouse relaxed.)

    2. December 2, 1971: White Sox send Tommy John and Steve Huntz to Los Angeles for first baseman Dick Allen. (Author’s Note: The trade that saved the franchise. Allen won the M.V.P. award in 1972 leading the Sox to a near division championship. His ability to hit for power and average was unmatched on the South Side for years. Named to three All-Star teams.)

    3. December 2, 1971: White Sox send Rich McKinney to the Yankees for starting pitcher Stan Bahnsen. (Author’s Note: Bahnsen would win 54 games in three and a half seasons in Chicago including 21 in 1972.)

    4. November 19, 1972: White Sox send Tom Bradley to San Francisco for outfielder Ken Henderson and pitcher Steve Stone. (Author’s Note: Henderson was a Gold Glove winning, power hitting center fielder while Stone added depth to the pitching staff. Bradley never regained the form that he showed with the Sox and was out of baseball by 1975.)

    5. August 14, 1973: White Sox acquire starting pitcher Jim Kaat on waivers from Minnesota. (Author’s Note: Kaat was a two time 20 game winner for the Sox in 1974 and 1975. Made the All-Star team in 1975. Won 45 games in two and a quarter years in Chicago.)

    6. June 15, 1975: White Sox send pitchers Stan Bahnsen and“Skip” Pitlock to Oakland for outfielder Chet Lemon and pitcher Dave Hamilton. (Author’s Note: Lemon would turn into one of the top center fielders in baseball with the Sox making the All-Star team twice. Hamilton was a regular contributor to the 1977 White Sox team with four wins and nine saves.)

    7. December 11, 1975: White Sox send third baseman Bill Melton and pitcher Steve Dunning to California for first baseman Jim Spencer and outfielder Morris Nettles. (Author’s Note: Melton had a bad back and had worn out his welcome getting into a shouting match in a Milwaukee hotel lobby with broadcaster Harry Caray. Spencer meanwhile won a Gold Glove for his defensive prowess in 1977 saving many errors. He also had 18 home runs and 69 RBI’s for the “South Side Hit Men”, twice driving in eight runs in a game.)

    8. April 4, 1977: White Sox send shortstop “Bucky” Dent to the Yankees for outfielder Oscar Gamble, pitchers LaMarr Hoyt and Bob Polinsky and cash.(Author’s Note: The deal was made because the Sox could not afford to resign Dent. Gamble blasted 31 home runs for the “South Side Hit Men.” Hoyt would become a very good starting pitcher winning the Cy Young Award after going 24-10 in 1983.)

    9. July 10, 1979: White Sox send pitcher Jack Kucek to the Phillies for infielder Jim Morrison. (Author’s Note: When the Sox were being rebuilt in the early 80's Morrison provided stability and power at either second or third base. Had three seasons of double figure home run totals.)

    10. December 12, 1980: White Sox send pitcher “Tex” Wortham to Montreal for second baseman Tony Bernazard. (Author’s Note: Bernazard was a switch hitter with speed and the ability to hit to all fields. He was a good second baseman in his two and a half years with the Sox. Hemond then sent him to Seattle for Julio Cruz a move that crystalized the 1983 team.)

    11. January 25, 1983: White Sox send pitchers Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar to the Cubs for infielders Scott Fletcher and Pat Tabler along with pitchers Dick Tidrow and Randy Martz. (Author’s Note: Perhaps Hemond’s greatest deal. Roland used the free agent compensation rules that were in use at the time to inquire about getting Cubs future Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins whom they left unprotected. Cubs G.M. Dallas Green got word of it and quickly made this deal. Part of it was the promise by Hemond that the Sox would not take Jenkins. Fletcher and Tidrow were important parts of the 1983 team. Tabler was then traded to Cleveland for Jerry Dybzinski adding another part to the club.)

    12. January 20, 1984: White Sox select starting pitcher Tom Seaver from the free agent compensation pool. (Author’s Note: The future Hall of Famer would win 32 games in two years with the Sox including his 300th beating the Yankees 4-1 on August 4, 1985.)

    13. December 6, 1984: White Sox send pitcher LaMarr Hoyt and two minor leaguers to San Diego for pitchers Tim Lollar and Bill Long along with infielder/outfielder Luis Salazar and shortstop Ozzie Guillen. (Author’s Note: Hoyt would see his career quickly end after the 1985 season due to substance abuse. Lollar and Salazar helped the 1985 team to a winning record but Guillen would become the Rookie of the Year in 1985 and win a Gold Glove in 1990 along with becoming a two time All-Star.)

    Roland Hemond’s Best Deal That Never Happened:

    As part of the major rebuilding effort after the disaster of 1970, Hemond had worked out a trade with the Washington Senators that would have sent left handed relief specialist Darold Knowles to the White Sox for relief pitcher Wilbur Wood. However Wood was holding out and never signed a 1971 contract. Therefore the Sox couldn’t deal him until he did. By the time Wood signed the Senators were no longer interested.
    It turned out to be a major blessing for the Sox.

    Wood would blossom into one of the top starting pitchers of the decade, winning 20 or more games four times and being named to the All-Star team three times. He would be named a member of the Sox Team of the Century in 1999. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you never make!

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    • #3
      IMHO Hemond was one of the classiest guys ever to be associated with the White Sox. It's hard to choose between Hemond and Ed Short as best Sox GM. Hemond did an amazing job taking a team that lost the most games in Sox history and improving it by 23 games in 1971 and almost winning the division in 1972, if Melton had stayed healthy they probably would have won the West. May he rest in peace.
      Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 12-13-2021, 02:41 PM.
      Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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      • #4
        I remember seeing him at Soxfest many times. I remember how friendly and accommodating he was to fans. There were some question and answer sessions when he would stay after the panel left the room and just talk to the fans.

        Lip, I'd love to see a list of trades that Hemond almost made that ended up falling through. I know he wanted Buddy Bell desperately for a long time. Ron Davis was on his radar. I think you mentioned Doug DeCinces once too, but that fell through.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Brian26 View Post
          I remember seeing him at Soxfest many times. I remember how friendly and accommodating he was to fans. There were some question and answer sessions when he would stay after the panel left the room and just talk to the fans.

          Lip, I'd love to see a list of trades that Hemond almost made that ended up falling through. I know he wanted Buddy Bell desperately for a long time. Ron Davis was on his radar. I think you mentioned Doug DeCinces once too, but that fell through.
          All true Brian.

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          • #6
            I have posted what I hope is a straight from the heart tribute to my friend Roland Hemond who passed away late Sunday night. He will be missed by me and literally thousands of other in and out of baseball who had the honor to know him or work with him.

            People like Roland, Billy Pierce and Jeff Torborg don't come along very often. They represented the game with class and dignity.

            https://www.wsiforumstoo.com/53978-roland-hemond-r-i-p

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            • #7
              I've never heard a bad word about him. He had a great life.

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              • #8
                I was lucky enough to meet him at Soxfest in the early 2000’s and I told him how much I enjoyed the era of the 70’s when he and Chuck Tanner turned the team around from the moribund days of the late 60’s and 1970. I told him those were fun times, and he said thank you to me for the kind words! What a truly nice man and genuine person.

                RIP Roland, you will be missed but never forgotten.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Roland Hemond rebuilt the White Sox from their lowest levels probably ever (1970) in just 2 off-seasons. He made them respectable in one offseason, then they became really good after the 2nd. The Sox had a few young players that matured in that period, but really didn't have much of a farm system. But Hemond made some great baseball trades and hired an open-minded manager.
                  A true White Sox icon.
                  May he RIP
                  Last edited by Tragg; 12-14-2021, 10:15 AM.

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