SABR members Roland Hemond, Rodney Johnson honored before Arizona Diamondbacks game

Longtime SABR member and major-league executive Roland Hemond was honored before the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Hemond, who serves as a special assistant to Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, was unanimously elected in January as the namesake of SABR’s local chapter, now known as the Hemond-Delhi Arizona Chapter. A plaque was made in Hemond’s honor for his unwavering support of SABR over the years. He could not be present at the ceremony but sent his best wishes to his many baseball friends.

Outgoing chapter president Rodney Johnson, a Diamondbacks official scorer who helped found the local chapter 25 years ago and also organized the 1999 SABR Convention in Phoenix, was also recognized prior to the game during an on-field ceremony.

New chapter president Barry Bloom of presented a plaque to Johnson on behalf of the local members. Also present were chapter officers Tony DeMarco and Bernie Pleskoff, along with Jacob Pomrenke, Jeff Schatzki, and Blane Ferguson from the SABR office.

Roland HemondThe chapter name change is one of many honors bestowed on Hemond in recent years. In 2011, Hemond became the second recipient of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame. Hemond also is a three-time winner of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award —1972 and 1983 with the Chicago White Sox, 1989 with the Baltimore Orioles.

Hemond was the first non-uniformed winner of the prestigious Branch Rickey Award for contributions to the community, and his charitable efforts include serving as president of the Association of Professional Ballplayers, and helping found the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Hemond also was highly instrumental in the formation of the Arizona Fall League, and has four annual awards named in his honor — including an award by SABR’s Scouts Committee, which is given to baseball executives who have displayed great respect for scouts.

Flame Delhi’s name was attached to the Arizona SABR chapter in 1995, three years after it formed. Lee William ‘Flame’ Delhi was the first Arizona native to play in the major leagues.

To learn more about the Hemond-Delhi Arizona Chapter, visit

View more photos below, courtesy of Kelsey Grant from the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Click here to view the slideshow on mobile devices.)

Originally published: April 27, 2017. Last Updated: April 27, 2017.