Gonzo to represent D-backs at Draft

Gonzo to represent D-backs at Draft

Gonzo to represent D-backs at Draft
PHOENIX -- Two men who have had an impact on the Arizona Diamondbacks throughout the club's 14-year existence will represent the team at the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

World Series hero Luis Gonzalez and longtime executive Roland Hemond will be in Secaucus, N.J., to let Commissioner Bud Selig know who the D-backs select with their No. 1 pick (26th overall).

The annual First-Year Player Draft takes place this year from June 4-6, beginning with the first round and Comp Round A on Monday, June 4, at 7 p.m. ET. The first night of the event will be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com. Rounds 2-40 will also be streamed live on MLB.com on June 5-6.

MLB.com's coverage, sponsored by CenturyLink, will include Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list, Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player, and Draft Caster. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Gonzalez was acquired by the D-backs prior to the 1999 season and quickly became a key cog during the most successful stretch in franchise history.

After helping the D-backs to a 100-win season in 1999, Gonzalez cemented his place in Arizona sports history when he delivered the game-winning hit off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

After retiring in 2009, Gonzalez joined the D-backs' front office as special assistant to team president/CEO Derrick Hall.

"Gonzo exemplifies who the Diamondbacks were and who we always want to be," Hall said when the team retired his No. 20 in 2010. "He played with the style that we hope to see from all our players. He played with passion, with heart and character, and more importantly, he contributed off the field. What an example he is for young players."

Hemond was one of the club's first hires after then-CEO Jerry Colangelo was awarded a franchise in 1995. Hemond, who had spent 23 years as a general manager, helped mentor GM Joe Garagiola Jr. and was a key advisor to Garagiola as he helped build the team's baseball infrastructure from scratch.

After leaving the D-backs for a few seasons to return to the White Sox, Hemond rejoined the organization in 2007 as special assistant to Hall.

"There is no better baseball executive in the game than Roland Hemond," Hall said of Hemond this spring. "We are all extremely fortunate to be able to call upon his wisdom and expertise each and every day."

Last summer, Hemond was presented with the prestigious Buck O'Neil Award as part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend. The award honors individuals whose efforts broadened the game's appeal and whose character, integrity and dignity is comparable to the late O'Neil.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.