MLB Mourns Loss of Hemond, Father of Hannibal Cavemen Founders
A long-time Major League Baseball executive with a Hannibal connection has died.
Roland Hemond, whose baseball career spanned 70 years, spent mostly with the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Arizona Diamondbacks, died Monday at age 92.
But, to Hannibal baseball fans, he is better known as the father of Bob and Jay Hemond, who first brought Prospect League baseball to Hannibal, overseeing a major facelift of Clemens Field and fielding the Hannibal Cavemen from 2009 until 2016.
Bob was part of the original ownership group that brought the Cavemen to town, and Jay was the team's first manager.
Roland's career included stints as General Manager of the White Sox from 1970 to 1985 and the Orioles from 1988 to 1995. More recently, he had served as a senior vice president and special assistant in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
Hemond is also credited with helping found the Arizona Fall League and the Professional Baseball Scouts Association.
Roland Hemond made a number of visits to Hannibal during the time the Cavemen were in town. I had the chance to meet him more than once.
The last time was in 2011, as he stopped in Hannibal on his way to Cooperstown to receive the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Another memory of that visit for me was getting to meet another baseball man who had made the trip from St. Louis to wish his old friend and mentor well - none other than John Mozeliak, at the time the General Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.
This visit came about two weeks before Mozeliak made the player moves that solidified the Cardinal bullpen and led to the Redbird's World Championship run.