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Garcia wins Roland Hemond Award

Garcia wins 2008 Roland Hemond Award

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Former Major League umpire Richie Garcia, currently serving Major League Baseball as an umpiring supervisor, is the recipient of the Arizona Fall League's 2008 Roland Hemond Award.

The award is presented annually to recognize baseball executives who have provided at least 15 years of outstanding service to professional baseball, and served the Arizona Fall League in a key leadership capacity.

Garcia is in his seventh year as a liaison between Major League Baseball and the Major League umpires, a capacity that also includes evaluation and development of umpires in the Arizona Fall League.

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"Rich Garcia's impact has made the Arizona Fall League a necessary stop in an umpire's path to the Major Leagues. He has exhibited an unwavering commitment to umpire development, particularly in the Arizona Fall League since the 2002 season," offers Arizona Fall League executive director Steve Cobb. "Often unrecognized by the public, the unheralded contributions of Rich Garcia and many other baseball professionals, such as the eight previous Hemond Award winners, continue to serve pivotal roles in the baseball industry that allow it to prosper and thrive."

About Rich Garcia
Rich Garcia spent five years umpiring in the Florida Instructional, Florida State, Southern, International and Dominican Winter leagues en route to the Major Leagues. He joined the American League umpire staff in 1975.

During his tenure as a Major League umpire, Garcia worked two All-Star Games (1980, '92), three Division Series (1995, 1997-98), five League Championship Series (1978, '82, '86, '90, '96) and four World Series (1981, '84, '89, '98).

Garcia, who played baseball for three years as a U.S. Marine, has instructed at various umpire schools for several years, and also conducted umpiring clinics during the offseason when he was an active Major League umpire.

Born in Key West, Fla., he resides in Clearwater, Fla. He and his wife Sheryl have four children and six grandchildren.

About Roland Hemond
Roland Hemond, one of baseball's foremost ambassadors, is considered the "Architect of the Arizona Fall League." Currently a special assistant to the president of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Hemond is a veteran baseball executive and three-time winner of MLB's Executive-of-the-Year Award, whose dream of creating a six-week offseason league for baseball's top prospects in Arizona each fall became reality when the Arizona Fall League began play in 1992, after he spent two years selling the concept to baseball's hierarchy -- first general managers, then owners.

Roland Hemond Award recipients
2008: Rich Garcia
2007: Frank Robinson
2006: Dick Wagner
2005: Al Rosen
2004: Joan McGrath
2003: Bill Murray
2002: Mike Port
2001: Dan O'Brien, Sr.
2000: Roland Hemond

For current Arizona Fall League information, including pitch-by-pitch gamecasts by Baseball Advanced Media, please visit www.mlbfallball.com online.

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* More than 1,600 former Fall Leaguers have reached the Major Leagues
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* 8 MLB batting champions
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* 23 MLB managers
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* 71 administrators serving the baseball industry

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