Greener Yards

Nicole McFadyen serves as head groundskeeper for Orioles

March 15, 2013
Nicole McFadyen serves as the head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles. (Todd Olszewski/Baltimore Orioles)

In March, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates Women's History Month with a look at women who changed baseball history.

By Amanda Rodriguez

Nicole McFadyen has two goals when it comes to her field at Camden Yards: “Have a field that is pleasing to the eye and has a high degree of playability.” To achieve this, it has taken McFadyen a lot of perseverance and work. But as the heads groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, McFadyen’s job is a labor of love.

McFadyen was born in New Castle, Del., in 1977. After a lifetime of appreciating baseball, she graduated with a degree in agriculture and began work with various golf courses in Delaware, as well as the University of Delaware’s Research and Education Center. Prior to graduating, during a visit to Camden Yards with a class, McFadyen met Paul Zwaska, who eventually hired her as an intern with the Baltimore Orioles.

McFadyen served as the assistant head groundskeeper for the Orioles from 2001 to 2003 following her internship. The next season she moved to the Eastern League’s Trenton Thunder, which is a Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, where she served as head groundskeeper from 2004 to 2006. After gaining the necessary experience with the Thunder, McFadyen moved back to the Orioles in 2007, where she assumed the role as head groundskeeper.

Taking this position made her just the second woman to ever serve as a head groundskeeper with a major league team. In all, only about 10 women have ever held this position in the history of professional baseball. Although she is among the few, she would prefer that people do not know she is there – because that means her and her team are doing their jobs correctly. McFadyen has been quoted as saying, “We’re behind the scenes, and that’s how I’d like to keep it.”

Celebrate Women's History Month with the Museum's Girls Got Game features. Subjects include Alta Weiss, Ila Borders, Mamie Johnson, Nicole McFadyen, Eliza Green, Kim Ng, Nancy Faust and Penny Marshall.

Amanda Rodriguez was a 2012 membership intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development. For information on how to apply for the Class of 2014 Steele Internship Program, click here