Red Sox Weekend features inspiring story of David Mellor
In 1981, Mellor was an 18-year-old pitcher who had just finished high school and was preparing to go to college. But when he was struck by a car in a McDonald’s parking lot, he had to change his plans.
“I thought not only was my leg crushed,” Mellor said. “I thought my dreams were crushed.”
With some encouragement from his mother and two brothers, he decided to spend his recovery time finding a way to channel his passions into a new career path.
“I enjoyed being outside,” Mellor said. “I grew up taking care of peoples’ lawns to earn money. I enjoyed science in school, and I loved baseball. I put all those together, and I thought someone had to be a major league groundskeeper.”
“I thought it was a sign of weakness if I showed emotion,” Mellor said. “Now, I know it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength.”
After his diagnosis, Mellor found that an important part of his counseling was writing his feelings down to desensitize his emotions about the traumas he had experienced. That writing began the manuscript for his book, One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams, which recounts his struggles with PTSD, his perseverance in overcoming his debilitating symptoms and his experiences working as an MLB groundskeeper for 35 years.
Mellor grew up a Red Sox fanatic, so being a caretaker of Fenway Park and getting to see the Red Sox win four World Series championships, including their most recent title in 2018, has been a dream come true.
“I think of the childhood memories of playing wiffle ball, and emulating Luis Tiant, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn,” Mellor said. “Being able to walk on that field every day, I literally get goosebumps every day that I walk out there.”
The title of the book, “One Base at a Time,” is also a philosophy Mellor strives to live by. Rather than allowing challenges to overwhelm him, he takes them one step at a time, setting short- and long-term goals to help overcome obstacles.
“If I would have given up when I was first hit by the car, there’s so many incredible experiences I never would have had,” Mellor said. “We just want to inspire people to celebrate every day, because you never know when that next challenge will happen.”
Janey Murray is the 2019 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development