One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams (Hardcover)

One Base at a Time: How I Survived PTSD and Found My Field of Dreams Cover Image
By David R. Mellor, Buster Olney (Foreword by)
$26.00
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Description


As featured in The Boston Globe Magazine!

“Dave Mellor has built one of baseball’s most inspirational stories over the last half-century. Anchored by a love for his family and the game, he survived incomprehensible catastrophes and PTSD to become a pioneering ballfield artist and head groundskeeper for Fenway Park.”

—Buster Olney, ESPN

On July 10, 1981, David Mellor was just a baseball-crazed kid, a star high school pitcher preparing to go to college and dreaming of one day taking the mound in Fenway Park for his beloved Boston Red Sox. His dream was derailed as he crossed the parking lot of a McDonald’s. He heard the racing engine, but couldn’t defend himself against the car coming straight at him. It sent him flying through the air and into a wall, where it hit him again and pinned him, severely damaging his knee and destroying his hope of ever being a Major League pitcher.

In the wake of the accident, even as he reached the major leagues as a groundskeeper, David was tortured by the aftermath of his injuries and additional traumas, including being struck by a car again, this time in the outfield of Milwaukee’s County Stadium while he was working on overhauling the field for the Milwaukee Brewers. He suffered terribly from anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks, completely unaware that he was experiencing the debilitating symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly known as PTSD.

One Base at a Time recounts in vivid detail his subsequent twenty-nine-year struggle with PTSD. This harrowing but inspiring story, documents the remarkable journey of a man debilitated by physical and psychological injuries who refused to give up even when everything seemed hopeless. After a fortuitous event, he admitted to needing help, sought effective treatment and turned his life around. It’s a powerful, helpful outline of the steps one needs to take to overcome the powerful hold PTSD has on one’s life.

One Base at a Time is a must read for anyone suffering in silence or anyone who knows someone suffering in the wake of severe traumatic events. Those who seem broken can be fixed and live a happy, fulfilling life.

“Dave is a truly unique person. His passion, hard work, creativity, and love for baseball gives life to Fenway Park. It gives intensity to us as ball players and pushes us to put on a show night after night. Dave is as much a part of the Red Sox team as anyone and his life and the adversity he has overcome is really inspiring.”—David “Big Papi” Ortiz

“The true star of Fenway Park is not one of the Red Sox players; it is the esteemed groundskeeper David Mellor. This is a powerful memoir, taking David from his days as a potential big league pitcher through the time when, after his dreams came to a traumatic halt, he battled PTSD and eventually returned to the diamond after conquering his demons. It is an inspiring story, and I encourage all baseball fans to read this motivating book.”—Tom Werner, Chairman of the Boston Red Sox

“Every now and then someone really special comes into your life. David Mellor is one of those special people. Whether he’s hand cutting the infield grass or making it possible for 30,000 people to run across the plate at Fenway you know you are in the presence of greatness. If you feel the need for inspiration or motivation, read his book, get up off the couch and get back in the game.”—Lenny Clarke, Comedian/Actor

“David’s long battle with PTSD and chronic debilitating pain, all while he worked a demanding job full time, is a powerful story that will help many who suffer silently with these conditions. You cannot help but be captivated and inspired by his road to recovery, fueled by a determination to never give up, never give in.” —Padma Gulur MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, Vice Chair, Operations and Performance, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University

 “The reality is that PTSD is not only found in men and women returning from battle. It rears its ugly head in all aspects of our society, from those abused as children to people scarred from having observed a terrible crime…. If you have PTSD or know someone who does, read this book!”—Jeff Arle, MD, PhD, Neurosurgeon, Harvard Medical School

About the Author


David R. Mellor is the Senior Director of Grounds for the Boston Red Sox Baseball team at Fenway Park where he oversees everything that involves the playing field, from games and events to field maintenance. 

As the leading innovator of elaborate patterns used on athletic turf and turf in general, articles about David’s work have been published in The New York Times and USA Today and he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including ESPN's E:60 Fenway Keeper, the TODAY show, CBS Sunday Morning, and WEEI Sports Radio. His mowing patterns have been featured in the American Folk Art Museum and an international art exhibit. David has published two books on gardening and horticulture, Picture Perfect: Mowing Techniques for Lawns, Landscapes, and Sports (Hardcover, Wiley, 2001), and The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year (Paperback, Hyperion, 2003), both of which continue to be bestsellers in Amazon.com’s Home & Garden category. Picture Perfect is considered the text book for lawn patterns. He has co-authored or contributed to eleven other books.

David has cared for some of the greenest lawns in the nation—the ballparks used by the California Angels, San Francisco Giants, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and, of course, the Boston Red Sox for eighteen years. He has thirty-four seasons of Major League Baseball experience during which he also worked eight years for the Green Bay Packers' games at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.

David considers himself one of the luckiest people in the world, living by the old baseball saying, “one base at a time.” He buys a lottery ticket anytime the jackpot rises over one hundred million dollars as the statistics of winning millions of dollars is more likely than the chance of being hit by two different cars in two different cities.

Praise For…


"Dave is a truly unique person. His passion, hard work, creativity, and love for baseball gives life to Fenway Park. It gives intensity to us as ball players and pushes us to put on a show night after night. Dave is as much a part of the Red Sox team as anyone and his life and the adversity he has overcome is really inspiring."
— David "Big Papi" Ortiz

"The true star of Fenway Park is not one of the Red Sox players; it is the esteemed groundskeeper David Mellor. This is a powerful memoir, taking David from his days as a potential big league pitcher through the time when, after his dreams came to a traumatic halt, he battled PTSD and eventually returned to the diamond after conquering his demons. It is an inspiring story, and I encourage all baseball fans to read this motivating book."
— Tom Werner, Chairman of the Boston Red Sox

"Every now and then someone really special comes into your life. David Mellor is one of those special people. Whether he's hand cutting the infield grass or making it possible for 30,000 people to run across the plate at Fenway you know you are in the presence of greatness. If you feel the need for inspiration or motivation, read this book, get up off the couch and get back in the game."
— Lenny Clark, Comedian/Actor

"David's long battle with PTSD and chronic debilitating pain, all while he worked a demanding job full time, is a powerful story that will help many who suffer silently with these conditions. You cannot help but be captivated and inspired by his road to recovery, fueled by a determination to never give up, never give in."
— Padma Gulur MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, Vice Chair, Operations and Performance, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University

"Dave Mellor, operating on a canvas of grass and dirt, has transformed our field at Fenway Park into a shimmering work of art for nearly two decades. Now Boston's greatest gardener shares his personal story of facing and ultimately overcoming PTSD, one that should inspire hope in all who read it."
— Sam Kennedy, Boston Red Sox President and CEO

"David's book is a must-read, inspiration for anyone facing challenges...which is all of us! His childhood dream of playing Major League Baseball was crushed after several devastating, physical attacks that left him with non-combat related PTSD. But he persevered "One Base at a Time" with a true "Never-Quit" attitude and now runs the team responsible for the most professional grounds keeping at the holiest of baseball cathedrals: Fenway Park. This is a true story of how to reach your goal while realizing that roadblocks are only detours."
— Robert J. O'Neill, Former Navy SEAL

"Dave Mellor brings to light the multifaceted challenges encountered by people struggling to overcome the physical and mental injuries of trauma. A truly inspiring story of one man's efforts to overcome significant adversity."
— Jack Hammond, Brigadier General USA (Ret), Executive Director, Home Base, A Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program

"David has an amazing life story about overcoming adversity! He leads by example and is extremely motivating showing that your emotional/mental strength needs as much conditioning as your physical strength! I also learned from the book, 'Life is good because you decided to make it that way!' If you want to make a positive impact, have a positive life!" 
— Peter Hoffmann, Commander, 126 Air Refueling Squadron, Lt Col (Ret)

"The Comeback Kid. A story of one man, his family and how to overcome trauma. Dave Mellor shows us how post-traumatic stress can become post-traumatic growth—a must read for all who face adversity and need an example for how to regain our lives."
— Michael Allard, Chief Operating Officer, Home Base: A Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program

"The reality is that PTSD is not only found in men and women returning from battle. It rears its ugly head in all aspects of our society, from those abused as children to people scarred from having observed a terrible crime. David is a patient of mine who tells here his story of multiple traumas. He had over 40 surgeries, developed a disabling chronic pain syndrome, and lives with PTSD from all of these experiences. I was his neurosurgeon treating his chronic pain and heard firsthand what these events had done to him, but I also saw evidence of how he had resurrected his life, becoming a highly-functioning member of society, directing the Fenway Park groundscrew (one of the best in baseball), having a family, and now having the courage to help others out of their own PTSD darkness. If you have PTSD or know someone who does, read this book!"
— Jeff Arle, MD, PhD, Neurosurgeon, Harvard Medical School

"I could not put it down! As a major league crew chief my job is to get the game in! I rely heavily on the grounds crew in each stadium, particularly the head groundskeeper. There are only thirty people who do this job, and they are all excellent. David Mellor is a man who stands out in a field of excellence. What amazes me is, despite everything life has thrown at David, he has emerged at the top of his profession. This man has not only gotten up from the mat numerous times, he has won the fight by a unanimous decision! This book has inspired me to keep the faith, and keep fighting the good fight. I admire the courage David has to speak about his struggles, I know it will help many people who are suffering. Baseball can be a ruthless game with very little forgiveness. You have to get the job done no matter what. David not only gets the job done, he gets it done the right way! When I make a call in a game that goes against your team, you probably don't like it. I am telling you to read this book, I know this is a call that no one will argue with!"
— Ted Barrett, Major League Umpire, Crew Chief #65

"I know David, not only as one of the best, most trusted groundskeepers in Major League Baseball, but more importantly, someone who has a deep compassion for people. Discussing my own history with concussions, David and I found a bond, so I know firsthand his desire to help others. This book does just that, by telling his very personal story and relating his experiences...the setbacks and disappointments, the embarrassment, fear and guilt, withdrawing from family and friends, and finally, the courage and strength to seek help. If you have PTSD or think you might, read David's journey. You may find it to be a lot like yours..."
— Dale Scott, thirty-two-year MLB Umpire (retired 2018), 16-year crew chief

"As a psychologist who works with client suffering from PTSD, I was immediately struck by the personal aspect of David's story. How tragic to have your dreams crushed in such a cruel manner. My other reaction was a bit more selfish. I realized that I could share this inspiring story with my own clients: 'You say that you're feeling a little embarrassed to admit that you're not coping well with this trauma? You're thinking that a tougher person should be able to handle this? Are you a Red Sox fan? Let me tell you the story of David Mellor, Head Groundskeeper for Fenway Park.'

I wrote to David and told him how thankful I was that he decided to share his journey. I said that I was sure I'd be able to use it to help others realize that they were acting like any  other human would in their shoes. 'You are having a NORMAL reaction to a very ABNORMAL situation; welcom to the human race.' David did a big favor for professionals like myself, and for anyone who is struggling to overcome trauma."
— Paul Shiebler Psy.D, Licensed Psychologist
Product Details
ISBN: 9781642932522
ISBN-10: 1642932523
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication Date: June 11th, 2019
Pages: 264

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