BOSTON (CBS) – Fenway Park wouldn’t be the jewel of Major League Baseball parks without one man working tirelessly to make sure the field is ready.
But it took two tragedies to get Dave Mellor to Boston to become the Red Sox head groundskeeper.
Right now, Mellor is happy because the grass at Fenway is green after a brutal winter in Boston.
The snow is gone and the field is coming together nicely, just like Mellor’s life.
“My dream was to make it to Fenway as a pitcher,” he told WBZ-TV.
Mellor grew up a diehard Red Sox fan in Ohio. He was an excellent pitcher on the verge of a college scholarship.
“Before I could play baseball in college, I was hit by a car, walking into a McDonald’s.”
He was on crutches for three years and now he needed a new dream.
“I realized I loved baseball. I enjoyed being outside,” Mellor said, “I put that together and realized somebody’s got to take care of a major league field.”
After college he scored a job as a major league groundskeeper, but another tragedy was speeding his way.
Believe it or not, Mellor was run down by a car again. In 1995, when he was working for the Milwaukee Brewers, a woman with severe mental health issues drove through a security gate, into the stadium, onto the field and then ran Mellor over on purpose.
“She said she was there to do a stunt for a movie,” he recalled.
In 2001, he got a break that didn’t involve a bone. The Red Sox hired him.
“My job is the next best thing to playing. I love what I do,” he told WBZ.
Mellor has had 40 surgeries in his life.
He had nightmares for 30 years until doctors treated him in 2013 for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“Counseling has changed my life,” he said.
So now, a dugout in need of a dig out, a baseball diamond in the rough, is no big deal.
For Dave Mellor, the grass is always greener, on either side of the Green Monster.
“If I wouldn’t have gotten hit by the car the first time, I never would’ve met my wife, never would’ve had my two incredible daughters. I’d never have this career. So, great things come from challenges.”
Mellor is actually in the middle of writing a book about his experiences with PTSD.
He wants to help people get over the stigma of getting therapy.
The book should be out next year.