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Hemond to throw out Opening Night first pitch

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today Roland Hemond will throw out the ceremonial Opening Night first pitch prior to Friday’s 6:40 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds in recognition of him receiving the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year.

Hemond, 81, begins his 61st year in professional baseball and fifth season during his second tour of duty with Arizona after rejoining the D-backs midway through the 2007 season as Special Assistant to the President & CEO.

He was a three-time winner of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year award and spent 23 seasons as a general manager with the White Sox (1971-85) and Baltimore Orioles (1988-95) and five seasons as Senior Executive Vice President with the D-backs (1996-2000).

Hemond later served as Executive Advisor with the White Sox (2000-07) until rejoining the D-backs.

Hemond, who is considered the architect of the highly successful Arizona Fall League that began in 1992, revolutionized front-office management and strategy during a seven-decade career in baseball, while spending his post-general manager days assisting baseball family members in need.

He is the second winner of the Buck O’Neil Award, which was established in 2007 to honor an individual whose efforts broadened the game’s appeal and whose character, integrity and dignity is comparable to the late O’Neil, who passed away in 2006 after eight decades of contributions to the game.

O’Neil was honored as the first recipient of the Award in 2008.

Hemond will be presented the award in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 23, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2011.

The Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Board of the Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at its discretion, though not more frequently than every three years.